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 assignments 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.

In more recent years I have been less likely to give extra credit projects outside the scope of class. Instead, I allow students to complete quiz revisions and graded assignment revisions to bring up their grades. But I wanted to share this website in case you hadn't seen it because it's pretty fun to know we share birthdays with famous mathematicians! 


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