Which Mathematician Was Born on Your Birthday?

Looking for a fun extra credit math project? This website tells you which mathematician was born on your birthday! Makes a fun link between math and history and a fun way for students to gain some extra credit in math.

When I first started teaching and was more willing to grant extra credit assignments to students who asked for them, one of my favorite go-to sites was Mathematician's Anniversaries Throughout the Year from the University of St Andrews in Scotland.

Students click on their birthday and up comes a mathematician who was born on the same day! There's often more than one. 

The assignment I'd give students was to research and write a 1-page paper on a mathematician born on their birthday. Because not all mathematicians are as well known as Pythagoras, researching their birthday twin was a fun way to bring a little history into math.

Other extra credit projects I've offered included: researching 20 facts on i, 20 facts on the Golden Ratio, what are fractals, creating a system of equations with 3 variables.

My favorite math project of all time is this graphing grass math project
Graphing grass math project

If you're into math projects, my all-time favorite math project was this graphing grass math project. I did this project in my algebra class, but it could really be tailored to just about any grade level. Students measure the height of their grass each day, plot the coordinates and analyze the data in whatever way makes the most sense for them. In algebra we then created lines of fit, found slope of the lines and their equations, then gave the grass a "haircut" and talked about piecewise functions.

In younger grades, students can collect data and talk about the growth and when it is observed as faster or slower. There are really a million possibilities with this project.

My favorite part about the project is how attached students get to their little cups of grass. Some even given them names.

You can read more about the project, see step-by-step instructions and download it for free in this post:

Graphing Grass Math Project

Scaffolded Math and Science blog


  1. Do they reference women mathematicians?

    1. That's a good question. I am not sure.

  2. I also wonder if it references Black Mathematicians and other Mathematicians of color.

    1. Good question. I am not sure. I would hope so.

  3. If you go to the site, there is a special tab for female and black mathematicians.