As a professor at Pitt State, Dr. Cynthia Woodburn practices one of the oldest scholarly disciplines in existence: the study of mathematics.
After a recent sabbatical to Egypt, she's not the only one benefitting from ancient lessons learned. Woodburn has been sharing her journey to the Middle East with her students by putting some of what she learned to work in the classroom.
"It was really amazing," said Woodburn, who teaches History of Mathematics among other courses. "The trip brought mathematical history to life for me. I learned that even writing was created out of mathematics when the ancients were trying to keep track of inventory. What I experienced is changing things for me and my students."
On her trip, which was shared with members of the Mathematical Association of America, Woodburn toured the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, the Cairo museum, and the city of Alexandria, which is known for its ancient library.
And although the lessons are still fresh, she's already seeing the positive feedback from students who are absorbing the experience through her lectures and lessons.
"They truly value what I learned during my sabbatical," she said. "One of them told me how much he appreciated the historical insights and travel stories. He said that kind of information made math click for him."