# Katz, Victor J. (Victor Joseph Katz)

# Katz, Victor J. (Victor Joseph Katz)

## PERSONAL:

*Education:* Brandeis University, Ph.D., 1968.

## ADDRESSES:

*Home—*Silver Spring, MD. *E-mail—*[email protected].

## CAREER:

Institute in the History of Mathematics and Its Use in Teaching, former director; University of the District of Columbia, Washington, professor.

## MEMBER:

Mathematical Association of America, American Mathematical Society.

## WRITINGS:

### NONFICTION

(With John B. Fraleigh and Raymond A. Beauregard) *Linear Algebra,* 2nd edition, Addison-Wesley (Reading, MA), 1990, 3rd edition, 1995.

*A History of Mathematics: An Introduction,* Harper-Collins (New York, NY), 1993, 3rd edition published as *A History of Mathematics,* Pearson Addison-Wesley (Boston, MA), 2008.

(Editor) *Using History to Teach Mathematics: An International Perspective,* Mathematical Association of America (Washington, DC), 2000.

(Author of historical notes) John B. Fraleigh, *A First Course in Abstract Algebra,* Addison-Wesley (Boston, MA), 2003.

*The History of Mathematics: Brief Version,* Pearson/Addison-Wesley (Boston, MA), 2003.

(Editor, with Marlow Anderson and Robin Wilson) *Sherlock Holmes in Babylon and Other Tales of Mathematical History,* Mathematical Association of America (Washington, DC), 2004.

(Editor) *The Mathematics of Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, India, and Islam: A Sourcebook,* Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2007.

## SIDELIGHTS:

Victor J. Katz is a mathematics professor whose writings cover the history and teaching of this discipline. His *A History of Mathematics: An Introduction* has gone through three editions and gave rise to an abbreviated edition. With *Using History to Teach Mathematics: An International Perspective,* Katz collects essays that detail how an appreciation of the history of mathematics can further enrich its teaching. Ed Sandifer, reviewing the book on the Mathematical Association of America Web site, reported that "Victor Katz has gathered a diverse and fascinating selection of 26 essays on the history of mathematics and on ways to use it to teach mathematics." Katz breaks down the contributions into five sections, progressing from the general to the more specific, and also including essays on the employment of mathematics history in teacher training courses. Sandifer concluded: "Overall, this collection of essays goes well beyond the promise of its title. It presents a broad spectrum of ideas about how to use history in teaching, from things as basic as particular classroom activities to concepts as profound as different ways to consider the nature of mathematics."

Similarly, with *Sherlock Holmes in Babylon and Other Tales of Mathematical History,* Katz collaborated with two other mathematicians to present over forty articles on the history of mathematics that are intended to show how history can improve both the learning and teaching of mathematics. The essays are divided into four time periods, from the ancient times through the Middle Ages and Renaissance and on to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Israel Kleiner, writing in *Isis,* found it a "rich and well-chosen collection of articles, of high expository quality and solid scholarship … [that] will be useful for students, teachers, and the broader mathematical and scientific communities interested in the history of mathematics."

## BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

### PERIODICALS

*American Statistician,* August, 2004, Christine M. Anderson-Cook and Russell V. Lenth, review of *Sherlock Holmes in Babylon and Other Tales of Mathematical History,* p. 262.

*Isis,* September, 2004, Israel Kleiner, review of *Sherlock Holmes in Babylon and Other Tales of Mathematical History,* p. 465.

### ONLINE

*Humboldt State University Web site,*http://www.humboldt.edu/ (March 12, 2007), brief biography of Victor J. Katz.

*Mathematical Association of America Web site,*http://www.maa.org/ (March 12, 2007), Ed Sandifer, review of *Using History to Teach Mathematics: An International Perspective.*

*Mathematics Genealogy Project,*http://geneaology.math.ndsu.nodak.edu/ (March 12, 2007), biography of Victor J. Katz.

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**Katz, Victor J. (Victor Joseph Katz)**