Khayyam with Cabri

Adnan Baki and Bulent Guven have written an article about the interesting link between Persian mathematician, philosopher, astronomer and poet Omar Khayyam (1048-1122) and the dynamic geometry application Cabri. The article was recently published in Teaching Mathematics and its Applications, and it is entitled Khayyam with Cabri: experiences of pre-service mathematics teachers with Khayyam’s solution of cubic equations in dynamic geometry environment. Here is the abstract of their article:

The study reported in this article deals with the observed actions of Turkish pre-service mathematics teachers in dynamic geometry environment (DGE) as they were learning Khayyam’s method for solving cubic equations formed as x3 + ax = b. Having learned the method, modelled it in DGE and verified the correctness of the solution, students generated their own methods for solving different types of cubic equations such as x3 + ax2 = b and x3 + a = bx in the light of Khayyam’s method. With the presented teaching experiment, students realized that Khayyam’s mathematics is different from theirs. We consider that this gave them an opportunity to have an insight about the cultural and social aspects of mathematics. In addition, the teaching experiment showed that dynamic geometry software is an excellent tool for doing mathematics because of their dynamic nature and accurate constructions. And, it can be easily concluded that the history of mathematics is useful resource for enriching mathematics learning environment.

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