Introduction – Luke Profy

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Hi all! My name is Luke Profy and I am a rising senior studying Mathematics and Classics with minors in Statistics, Education and Dance. My project for this summer is exploring the historical and socioeconomic implications of the mathematical findings in the ancient Mediterranean specifically in Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. It is the perfect combination of both my majors as I look at not just the theoretical and abstract mathematical findings but the impact they caused in the greater part of their societies. Additionally, I will be approaching this material from a problem-solving approach as many of the ancient thinkers’ work is rooted in applications and problems of their daily life. An objective to this project is to aid the answer to the the question, “Why do we learn this?” By providing the history and development of mathematical topics, we can see where the math has come from, how it was used, and tie it directly into the use and applications of topics currently – some of which remain the same 2,000 years later. The last component of my research will be tying in the history and applications of the math content into the state standards and common core standards of secondary math education. This objective serves to provide a resource to teachers to systematically and easily integrate these topics into discussions of their classes providing depth and context for the material. A fun fact is that this research project was inspired during my study abroad last summer in Syracuse, Sicily, which was home to the great mathematician  Archimedes.

As for future plans, I intend to enroll in a certification and master’s program for Secondary Education in order to become a high school math teacher. The Brackenridge helps me in my pursuit of being a future educator because I strongly believe in a transdisciplinary approach to education, especially in the study of mathematics which is so often viewed isolated and disconnected from other studies in high school. The nature of my research, looking at the place of math in society, economics, and warfare, and its impact is an example of how I want to approach my future classroom. The Brackenridge in general will help in my future goals because it continues to provide. an interdisciplinary focus and appreciation. I look forward to a productive and informative summer!

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