Tag Archives: Math Teaching

Archimedes – the Man who invented the Death Ray

Archimedes lived over 2,000 years ago in Syracuse on the island of Sicily.

He was a mathematician, astronomer, physicist, engineer and inventor.

Many of his great inventions came about while defending Syracuse when it came under attack from the Romans.

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The leader of the Roman army was Marcus Claudius Marcellus. Eventually Marcellus won the war. Archimedes died in the Siege of Syracuse, even though Marcellus had given strict orders that Archimedes should be captured alive. Marcellus admired the genius and knew that he had more invention to offer the world. Who knows how history may have changed if Archimedes had lived to live the rest of his life in peaceful study and contemplation?

In this book, Marcus Claudius Marcellus looks back on his life and explains to his young son exactly why Archimedes was possibly the cleverest person that ever lived.

Here are a few videos that show you how to draw Archimedes and how to get to grips with drawing circles and spheres, the subjects that fascinated Archimedes so much, a fascination that led him to his greatest invention Pi – the number that lets us work out the circumference of circles and the area of the surface of a sphere.


Euclid, The Man Who Invented Geometry – now on iPad

After a crazy summer of hard work, my Euclid project is now ready and available on iPad. I think you are going to love this fresh, exciting new way to learn the basics of geometry for Primary and K-6.

You can download the iPad version here right now – a preview is available for free. It’s got off to a good start in the US!

Euclid – The Man Who Invented Geometry
, is loosely based on Euclid’s Elements of Geometry, which nowadays looks like a very complex text book for a secondary, 7-13 age group.

The wonder of Euclid is his axiomatic approach. He starts with the simplest idea – a point in space – then adds another point and joins them with a line (or a segment if you want to be really precise!) By adding simple concepts, Euclid soon builds up the basics of geometry in easy, understandable steps.

This project is written as a story, with the character of Euclid, a genial old fellow, explaining things to his friends, who make terrible geometry jokes as they try to tease their teacher! (What exactly do sausages have to do with geometry?)

The iPad version has videos built in, to help explain the trickier parts of geometric construction.

The paper book is almost ready. It will be premiereing at the Wigtown Book Festival in Scotland on Saturday the 29th. If you’re that way, come along. Otherwise I’m taking bookings for Euclid days in Schools and Libraries, which should be great fun.

Next will come a book on three dimensional models and how to make them – that should be fun! Maybe Pythagorus after that?

This is my first self-published original project and I’m really proud of it. I’ve aimed it at young mathematicians who need a story and a drawing lesson or two and at artists who like a story and need to learn a bit of mathematics. I’m sure your children are going to enjoy learning the beautiful subject of geometry and will soon find themselves to be “Friends of Euclid”too!

The original videos that inspired this project are on YouTube.