3 days / 70+ speakers
80+ seminars, workshops, and panels
National Symposium for Classical Education

Phoenix Convention Center
February 22-24, 2023
The Catholic University of America

Peter Ulrickson

Peter Ulrickson is Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the Catholic University of America.

In his teaching and research, Ulrickson promotes the continuing relevance, vitality, and unity of the four mathematical liberal arts of geometry, arithmetic, music, and astronomy. He is the author A Brief Quadrivium and Teaching the Quadrivium, a textbook and a teacher’s guide that together make these old disciplines newly accessible. His other research interests include mathematical formulations of quantum field theory, graph theory, and knot theory.

Ulrickson received his B.A from Hillsdale College and his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame.


Calculus and Classical Mathematics: What’s the Connection?

How can we teach calculus well? The high school mathematics curriculum aims at this challenging pinnacle. What about the foothills, though? The purpose of this talk is to explain how the four mathematical liberal arts, called the quadrivium, can support and strengthen the high school study of calculus. The quadrivium consists of geometry, arithmetic, music, and astronomy. These four areas continue to have a place in early mathematical schooling, although this place is at times only implicit. This presentation will draw out the ongoing significance of classical mathematics, helping teachers teach calculus well and present mathematical activity in a coherent, accessible manner.

What is a curve?

Curves, particularly graphs of functions, play a central role in mathematical education. This workshop will present mechanical methods of constructing pedagogically significant curves, using compass, straightedge, and other tools.
Participants are encouraged to bring compass and straightedge.