Every year, my Algebra 1 students do a “Happy Meal” project. They are to construct a happy meal box with a toy on their favorite mathematician. Every year, I am asked about my favorites. I have decided to compile a list. What do you think? Who are your favorites?

- Pythagoras of Samos
- Isaac Newton
- Rene Descartes
- Euclid
- Carl Friedrich Gauss
- Leonhard Euler
- Archimedes
- Leonardo Fibonacci
- Blaise Pascal
- Albert Einstein

This list is in no particular order.

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I’m not much of a mathematician, so I can’t comment on your list – but what a fun activity for your students!

They really like it! It is one of their favorite activities throughout the year!

What a fun list and activity! Outside of Fibonacci, Newton, and Einstein, I don’t know much about these mathematicians for their math contributions. BUT I know a lot about them based on references to them.

Just two off the top of my head…

From Back to the Future Part II: “What in the same of Sir Isaac H. Newton is going on here?”

From The Sword and the Stone: the ornery owl is named Archimedes

I am going to keep my eyes and ears open. I’ll let you know if I find anything else.

Lauren,

I love that you can quote movies that they were mentioned in! I am definitely going to take note of that! 🙂 Thanks!

Tanya

Oooooh! Thanks! My students will love the references. I have never thought of taking references about a mathematician in movies to class. What a great idea!

Tanya, it might be interested to add an element to this activity that asks students to explain why they selected the mathematician that they have. In that spirit, I’m wondering if you could share a reason for one or two of your selections?

Oh my! I am sorry it took so long to get back to you. I didn’t see this right away. My VERY favorite mathematician is Pythagoras of Samos. The Pythagorean Theorem is essential in so many forms of math. You can find one side of a triangle given the other two. There are also Trig identities that go along with it. It can solve so many real world problems. The way we do most Geometry and Trig problems would not be the same without his insight.