MATHEMATICS: A Curious History

MATHEMATICS: A Curious History

JOEL LEVY    Book Number: 86046    Product format: Paperback

At times mathematics can appear so fiendishly complicated that many of us just switch off, believing we will never comprehend it. But every time you deliberate over which muffin is larger, how to slice a pizza into equal portions, count your change, tell the time or just weigh up the chances of something happening or not, you are being a mathematician whether you realise it or not, and this book is for you! If mathematics is to be regarded, as many believe, as the purest expression of the unique human capacity for abstract thought, and thus a quintessentially human ability, then how did it first come about, and what drove it? Abandoning nomadic ways for settlements and agriculture must have been a driving force: keeping a count of livestock, grain supplies and early trading, for example, but then how to record numbers? Many systems were used in the ancient world and it was this that allowed the greatest minds of the time to bring their intellect to bear on the subject - Pythagoras, Archimedes, Plato, Euclid, Eratosthenes - and the author explains the works of these and few more of the greats. The collapse of Classical civilisation stalled Western mathematics for centuries, but in the Middle and Far East great strides were taken. These began to feed back into the West in the 12th century which led to the third "golden age" of mathematics following the Renaissance - Fibonacci, Tartaglia, John Dee, Napier, Copernicus, Galileo, Descartes, Fermat, Pascal, Newton, Liebniz and into the modern era, with Babbage's Difference Engine, the first computer, and Alan Turing, father of computing. Finally we get right up to date with Chaos Theory, Fractals and Game Theory. Deliciously mixing the people, the times and the maths itself and with colour illus throughout, this is the ultimate maths book for people who don't do maths. 192pp softback.
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ISBN 9780233005447
Browse this category: Science & Maths

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