House Bill No. 246 Revisited. Hallerburg, A. E. 84:374–399.
House Bill No. 246 Revisited [link]Paper  abstract   bibtex   
[Excerpt: Introduction] In the year 1966 the State of Indiana celebrated the Sesquicentennial of its admission into statehood, and the Indiana Academy of Science joined in this observance with a number of appropriate activities. Among these was a program of invited papers on the history of the various sciences and of mathematics in the state over the 150-year period. [] For a small number of persons the association of "Indiana" and "mathematics" immediately brings to mind the true story of the attempt in 1897 of the state legislature to pass a bill establishing a new way of "squaring the circle." In essence the bill would have provided for use in this state a new value of π, the "circle number." But Dr. Will Edington [4], who wrote on the history of mathematics in Indiana for the above observance, did not include reference to this story in his review – and probably rightfully so. For, first of all, the bill was not passed (parenthetically, nor was it defeated – only "indefinitely postponed"); second, incorrect or false "mathematics" is not mathematics; and finally, Dr. Edington had already recounted in detail in the 1937 Proceedings of the Academy [3] the action of both the House and the Senate on House Bill 246. [] Accounts of circle squarers and angle trisectors have been so common over the centuries that mathematicians customarily pay them no concern. The fact that the mathematical work of E. J. Goodwin, M.D., found its way into the legislative halls and was almost passed into law has set this solution somewhat apart from the rest. The story has been given a brief paragraph in several journals and books on the history and miscellania of mathematics, and it gives a bit of comic relief to any account of the "history of π." The usual reference notes that the bill actually proposed, in verbose and hidden verbiage, two different values of π, first the value of 4, and then 3.2. In 1961 the story was featured in a Sunday Supplement article in the Indianapolis Star Magazine [19]; that account is based largely on Dr. Edington's source material, with the addition of pictures and information concerning some of the legislators involved. [] There is a view that the history of mathematics, when properly examined, is not just the recounting of mathematical discoveries and developments, but rather that it mirrors, reflects and illustrates various cultural and social forces and changes – indeed, is inseparable from these. [] [...]
@article{hallerburgHouseBillNo1974,
  title = {House Bill No. 246 Revisited},
  author = {Hallerburg, Arthur E.},
  date = {1974},
  journaltitle = {Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science},
  volume = {84},
  pages = {374--399},
  issn = {2380-7717},
  url = {https://journals.iupui.edu/index.php/ias/article/view/8180/8139},
  abstract = {[Excerpt: Introduction]

In the year 1966 the State of Indiana celebrated the Sesquicentennial of its admission into statehood, and the Indiana Academy of Science joined in this observance with a number of appropriate activities. Among these was a program of invited papers on the history of the various sciences and of mathematics in the state over the 150-year period.

[] For a small number of persons the association of "Indiana" and "mathematics" immediately brings to mind the true story of the attempt in 1897 of the state legislature to pass a bill establishing a new way of "squaring the circle." In essence the bill would have provided for use in this state a new value of π, the "circle number." But Dr. Will Edington [4], who wrote on the history of mathematics in Indiana for the above observance, did not include reference to this story in his review -- and probably rightfully so. For, first of all, the bill was not passed (parenthetically, nor was it defeated -- only "indefinitely postponed"); second, incorrect or false "mathematics" is not mathematics; and finally, Dr. Edington had already recounted in detail in the 1937 Proceedings of the Academy [3] the action of both the House and the Senate on House Bill 246.

[] Accounts of circle squarers and angle trisectors have been so common over the centuries that mathematicians customarily pay them no concern. The fact that the mathematical work of E. J. Goodwin, M.D., found its way into the legislative halls and was almost passed into law has set this solution somewhat apart from the rest. The story has been given a brief paragraph in several journals and books on the history and miscellania of mathematics, and it gives a bit of comic relief to any account of the "history of π." The usual reference notes that the bill actually proposed, in verbose and hidden verbiage, two different values of π, first the value of 4, and then 3.2. In 1961 the story was featured in a Sunday Supplement article in the Indianapolis Star Magazine [19]; that account is based largely on Dr. Edington's source material, with the addition of pictures and information concerning some of the legislators involved.

[] There is a view that the history of mathematics, when properly examined, is not just the recounting of mathematical discoveries and developments, but rather that it mirrors, reflects and illustrates various cultural and social forces and changes -- indeed, is inseparable from these.

[] [...]},
  keywords = {*imported-from-citeulike-INRMM,~INRMM-MiD:c-14319947,bias-toward-primacy-of-theory-over-reality,errors,ignorance,legislation,peer-review,science-history,science-literacy,science-society-interface,theory-driven-bias}
}
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