Alright you dude-machines, it’s time for a rant (and lots of caps lock).
(I’ve ranted about this like 238 times before, but it’s still important, so you have to deal with it.)
It really bothers me when people divorce mathematical theorems/proofs/lemmas/what-have-yous from the people who came up with them.
Like, I get it. The math on its own is obviously important. DUH.
But it really bugs the crap out of me when people are like, “why do we care about Such-And-Such who came up with the Such-And-Such Theorem? Just give us the math, yo!”
UM HELLO YOU WOULDN’T EVEN HAVE THE SUCH-AND-SUCH THEOREM IF IT WEREN’T FOR SUCH-AND-SUCH SO GIVE SUCH-AND-SUCH THEIR MOMENT IN THE SUN OKEY-DOKEY?
ALSO. I think knowing who/when/why/how someone freaking COMES UP WITH A THEOREM (or lemma or proof or whatev) can not only help someone better understand the reasoning/logic behind the theorem, but can also help put it into context with other possibly non-math events and maybe make it more relevant/understandable. Remember when I talked about how Kepler doubted the accuracy of the volume measure of a wine maker’s wine barrel and how that helped lead him on the path to figuring out a more accurate method of measuring the volume of such an oddly-shaped object? Not only is that an interesting tidbit of knowledge, but it helps give some context/background for the beginnings of calculus. It’s not necessary to understand the math, but I think it helps from making the math seem so removed from “real life” as it has a tendency to be if it’s taught as a bunch of formulas and Greek letters and “this will be on the test so memorize it” pieces of info.