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MATH 1030-02: Math for the Liberal Arts (Knudsen) Fall 2023

Do a project on the mathematics textbook collection

If you are interested in studying some aspect of K-12 mathematics textbooks dating from the late 1700s to the late 1900s, this is the project for you!  There are many options for you to consider, including but not limited to:

  • ‚ÄčAnalyzing how images were used 
  • Examining similarities and differences between how girls and boys were taught mathematics 
  • Exploring how gender was portrayed in the exercises and examples in the books
  • Comparing and contrasting how a particular math subject was taught over a period of time
  • Examining what notation was used during different time periods
  • Analyzing introductions and prefaces of a particular subject

Pages from two early math textbooks

pages from two early math textbooks

pages from two mid 1800s math textbooks

Study teaching materials or diaries of Arthur M. Curtis

While he was teaching at Oneonta Normal School, Arthur Curtis authored a number of mathematics-related pamphlets.  If you are interested in learning more about Curtis and how he taught his students to teach mathematics to their own students at the K-12 level, then this project is for you!   


Additionally, Curtis kept a diary from 1910-1913.  If you are interested in learning more about his life through his diaries, then this project is for you!  All diaries have been scanned and can be shared electronically.

Pamphlet titled Suggestions for the Teaching of Arithmetic

Teaching pamphlet titled A Preparation for Teaching Percentage

Study the work and life of Dr. Vera Sanford

Dr. Vera Sanford, hired by the Oneonta Normal School to replace Arthur Curtis after his retirement in 1933, was instrumental in raising the scholarly reputation of our College.  In addition to chairing and growing the Mathematics Department, she had a plethora of publications and many impressive accomplishments.  If you are interested in learning more about her life and the difference she made to our College and to the profession, this is the project for you!

yearbook photos of Dr. Vera Sanford

The Pen Dragon article on Miss Sanford from 1933 with text and image of Vera SanfordText of first page of Roman Numerals publication by Vera Sanford

Study old student-teaching observations

Student teaching has been part of the SUNY Oneonta's history since its very beginning in 1889 as the Oneonta Normal School.  As pat of the process, student teachers were observed, and records were kept of such observations.  The Archives holds about a dozen of these observation books covering 1896-7 as well as 1902-1915.  If you are interested in seeing how student teachers were analyzed, then this is the project for you!  There are a number of options for this topic, including but not limited to:

  • Making a map that depicts where students were from for a particular year
  • Locating yearbook photos and other information about the students from a particular year
  • Discerning the types of skills and qualities that were commented on during student teaching observations

Two pages from student evaluation notebooks from 1904

The Glee Club and Music in the Earlier Years

There are a variety of possibilities with this one!  Below are some of the resources available:

Below is the 1952 Women's Glee Club taken from the yearbook.Below is the Women's Glee Club from the 1952 and white photo of 1952 SUNY Oneonta Women's Glee Club, with Charles Burnsworth conducting


Below is an 1896 article from the student newspaper, the Oneontan, about the Glee Club.

Article from the student newspaper the Oneonta on the Glee Club