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A historical teaching module on ‘The unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics’: Boolean algebra and Shannon circuits. (English)
BSHM Bull. 29, No. 2, 120-133 (2014).
In this article, the author presents the results of an experiment with students at Danish secondary schools; by working through articles by {\it G. Boole} [The laws of thought. Introduction by John Corcoran. Reprint of the 1854 original. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books (2003; Zbl 1035.03003)], {\it C. E. Shannon} [“A symbolic analysis of relay and switching circuits”, Am. Inst. Electron. Eng. 57, No. 2, 713‒723 (1938; \url{doi:10.1109/T-AIEE.1938.5057767})], and {\it R. W. Hamming} [“The unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics”, Am. Math. Mon. 87, No. 2, 81‒90 (1980; \url{doi:10.2307/2321982})] the students (mainly in their last year, and about 18 or 19 years old) learned that some parts of mathematics have a philosophical touch. The author demonstrates that students get something out of studying historical papers when they have a teacher who knows and cares about the history of mathematics.
Reviewer: Franz Lemmermeyer (Jagstzell)
Classification: A30 D34 H44 M54 E24
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