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Mathematical Association of America/Taylor & Francis


In the late 1960s, many people saw a fictional vision of the beginning of the twenty-first century via the movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Early in the movie, a lunar expedition uncovers a large, black monolith in the crater Clavius. Although the movie was fictional, and computers have not yet reached HAL's ability to speak and read lips, the lunar crater Clavius does exist and is named after a sixteenth century scholar who was instrumental in introducing mathematics into the university curriculum.

Christopher Clavius (1538-1612) is often associated with the astronomical and mathematical justification for shifting from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. He was also a university professor who was convinced that mathematics should be a stan- dard part of a university curriculum and who saw the need to train instructors of math- ematics. He exerted his influence on the Ratio Studiorum (The Plan of Studies), a 1599 document that included administrative norms and curricular guidelines for Jesuit schools as well as offering pedagogical suggestions in the form of "Rules" for teachers of various subjects (the Latin text [15] and English translations [6, 7] are available.


Copyright © 2002 Mathematical Association of America. All Rights Reserved.

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