Welcome to TRIUMPHS!

TRansforming Instruction in Undergraduate Mathematics via Primary Historical Sources

Building off of the work of two previous NSF grants, the TRIUMPHS project has created classroom materials designed to actively engage students in doing mathematics as they interact with the original writings of mathematicians from various world cultures and historical time periods. By carefully intertwining excerpts from those original writings with a series of intentionally designed tasks, these materials prompt students to act like mathematicians themselves – asking questions, interpreting ideas, exploring examples, conjecturing and proving theorems, and comparing multiple perspectives  – as they build their own robust understanding of key mathematical concepts and methods. Each project focuses on a particular topic in today’s undergraduate mathematics curriculum and is designed to replace a standard textbook treatment of that topic.  A set of instructor notes that explains the goals of the project and offers guidance on its implementation is appended at the end of each project. 

We encourage you to bring this stimulating approach to teaching and learning mathematics into your own classroom! Over our eight years of NSF funding, TRIUMPHS has produced a collection of 100+ freely-available student-ready Primary Source Projects (PSPs) for use in a wide range of courses and supported their use in over 240 classrooms at more than 100 different institutions, thanks to our wonderful group of site testers from across the US and Canada!  Our Evaluation-with-research component has also explored the effects of teaching and learning via PSPs on both students and their instructors. More information about the activities and research findings of the TRIUMPHS project can be found elsewhere on this site and in the Executive Summary – TRIUMPHS Final Evaluation Report.

Information about the full PSP collection (including links to downloadable versions of the PSPs themselves) is located under the tab entitled “Student Projects” above. Projects developed under our parent grant are also available for free download here and those from our grandparent grant can be found in the MAA Notes volume Resources for Teaching Discrete Mathematics. Once you decide to use one (or more!) of these projects, either now or in the future, we’d love to hear from you and learn from your experience

Not finding what you want? Please let us know what topic you’re looking for and share any suggestions you have about primary sources that might be used to teach it. Or, consider writing a PSP of your own! The newly founded TRIUMPHS Society, a legacy of the TRIUMPHS grant, provides mentoring support and resources to authors as well as a venue for disseminating completed projects, research on their effects, and other related products through its peer-reviewed journal The Annals of the TRIUMPHS Society. 

To get started writing your own PSP, tell us about your experiences teaching with existing PSPs, or to request help with PSP authorship or implementation, write to janet.barnett@csupueblo.edu or contact the TRIUMPHS Society at crelle@triumphssociety.org.