Behind the Algebra- The Life and Times of Benjamin Banneker






       During the spring semester of 2001, I participated in a “Women and Minorities, in Mathematics” class at Appalachian State University.  This class looked at the role females and minorities took in the mathematical world, including the barriers they had to overcome.  We took in-depth looks at not only the mathematics they worked on, but the racial and gender discrimination they had to deal with on their rise to the top. 

         On person we took a look at was Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806).  This website is designed to look deeper into his life as not only the son and grandson of freed slaves and how he overcame those obstacles, but to also look into the work he did as a mathematician.  To find out more information in a particular area, click on any of the following links.




What Kind of Education Did He Receive?


Banneker’s Mathematical Mentors


Banneker’s Almanac and Letter to Thomas Jefferson


Did He Experience Any Biases Because of His Color?


What Kind of Mathematician was Benjamin Banneker?


Introduction to Banneker’s Mathematics


A Survey of the Math


Let’s Go In-Depth


An Introduction to a Classroom Worksheet


A Fun Classroom Worksheet


Resources Used to Create this website