UICSM High School Mathematics, Experimental Programed Edition

Mathematics has long had a prominent place in American education at all levels. In part for this reason, during the 1950s and 1960s there were at least nine important programs to improve math teaching in the United States. One of oldest was the University of Illinois Committee on School Mathematics, established in 1951.
The UICSM developed an introductory course in high school mathematics. Materials included these programmed textbooks, which covered some of the same material as a more conventional textbook. Information and questions appear on one page, and the next page reveals the answer. Turning the book upside down gives a new set of questions and answers.
Topics were often explained with cartoon-like drawings. A total of four books were needed for the semester-long course. As in other curriculum projects, these programmed textbooks were reproduced cheaply for classroom trials. In this case, they did not go beyond the experimental stage.
Currently not on view
Date made
University of Illinois Committee on School Mathematics
Place Made
United States: Illinois, Urbana
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 7 cm x 21.6 cm x 28 cm; 2 3/4 in x 8 1/2 in x 11 in
ID Number
catalog number
nonaccession number
Credit Line
Gift of O. Robert Brown Jr.
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


We just had our 50th high school reunion and UICSM came up in some conversations I had. I was one of the students selected for UICSM because I was the top student in my 8th grade math class. I started the course in the ninth grade and somehow made a B. I didn't have a clue about the subjects they discussed. I asked my mother to look at the assignments and she too was lost. Kicker is that math was both of our's favorite subject. Upon starting the 10th grade, I went to a regular geometry class and was much happier. A few of my classmates who stayed in UICSM indicated their understanding of algebra and calculus suffered from the UICSM's method of teaching.
Thank you, Bill. It is great to read the workbook again. I had two years of UICSM in high school and found it to be very understandable--easy to comprehend. I wish I had taken all four years.
"I had the amazing good fortune to take UICSM math in high school, 1962-1965. It was more than thirty years later that I took my next math class, and I tested into algebra 2. In that class, various things from UICSM would bubble to the surface, especially specific wording, such as something being true if and only if something else was true. I was in a classroom of 19 year olds, and I did as well as any of them. By this point graphing calculators were around. Oh, if only I'd them all those years earlier. The thing about UICSM was that we proved EVERYTHING., which is why all those years later I could pick back up almost where I'd left off. It was the most amazing way of teaching math. I only took three years, but at this point we were well into calculus. I just wish I could get my hands on the original workbooks we used."
"Hi Sheila, I took UICSM math at Cass Tech HS in Detroit about the same time. You can find copies of theworkbooks archived by the Hathi Trust digital library. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/uiuo.ark:/13960/t0tq6zc1rCheers, Bill"

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