Development of the concept of complex number and it's educational implications

복소수 개념의 발달과 교육적 함의

  • Lee, Dong-Hwan (Korea Foundation for the Advancement of Science and Creativity)
  • Received : 2012.07.03
  • Accepted : 2012.08.16
  • Published : 2012.08.30


When imaginary numbers were first encountered in the 16th century, mathematicians were able to calculate the imaginary numbers the same as they are today. However, it required 200 years to mathematically acknowledge the existence of imaginary numbers. The new mathematical situation that arose with a development in mathematics required a harmony of real numbers and imaginary numbers. As a result, the concept of complex number became clear. A history behind the development of complex numbers involved a process of determining a comprehensive perspective that ties real numbers and imaginary numbers in a single category, complex numbers. This came after a resolution of conflict between real numbers and imaginary numbers. This study identified the new perspective and way of mathematical thinking emerging from resolving the conflicts. Also educational implications of the analysis were discussed.


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