Luke Hodgkin's A History of Mathematics: From Mesopotamia to Modernity PDF

By Luke Hodgkin

ISBN-10: 0198529376

ISBN-13: 9780198529378

Even though the bankruptcy themes persist with the present version of heritage of arithmetic textual content books (compare the desk of contents Victor J. Katz's historical past of arithmetic; particularly similar), the textual content has a energy, intensity, and honesty chanced on all too seldom in a textual content publication mathematical heritage. this isn't the common text-book on technical background that may be brushed aside (as Victor J. Katz's could be) as "a pack of lies" with in simple terms "slight exageration" (to quote William Berkson's Fields of Force).Also, the textual content is daring adequate to cite and translate the particular and ordinary kind of presentation utilized in Bourbaki conferences: "tu es demembere foutu Bourbaki" ("you are dismmembered [..]) [a telegram despatched by way of Bourbaki crew to Cartan, informing him that his booklet used to be approved and will be published]. Luke Hodgkin's textual content dispenses with the asterisk (see p.241).

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Extra resources for A History of Mathematics: From Mesopotamia to Modernity

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Et sic deinceps [and so on] that at last he was demonstratively convinced of that trueth. This made him in love with Geometry. (J. 2) While the Meno is a very illuminating discussion on a mathematical subject, it is too informal to be a good illustration of the mainstream Greek mathematics which is our primary concern. Socrates’ arguments make no attempt to go back to first principles, and the points he makes about areas of triangles are treated as obvious (which they are) rather than justified in painful detail.

The signs were made by combining symbols for ‘ten’ and ‘one’—a relic of an earlier mixed system, but obviously practical, in that what was needed was some easily comprehensible system of 59 signs. (see Fig. 4) You might, as an exercise, think of how to design one. The place-value system was constructed, like ours, by setting these basic signs side by side; we usually transliterate them and add commas, so that they can be read as in Fig. 5. ‘1, 40’ means, then, what we would call 1 × 60 + 40 = 100; ‘2, 30, 30’ means 2 × 602 + 30 × 60 + 30 = 7200 + 1800 + 30 = 9030.

There are sections on the Greeks in both van der Waerden (1961) and Neugebauer (1952). They are sometimes dated, and in van der Waerden’s case, given to conjecture using unreliable ancient sources. The major modern works which cover the question can be dauntingly detailed, but if you find yourself developing, as one does, an interest in Greek mathematics, they will draw you in. The central works are probably Knorr’s (1975) attempt to account for the form of the Elements and Fowler’s (1999) more informal but very scholarly reconstruction of what geometry might have been like before Euclid.

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A History of Mathematics: From Mesopotamia to Modernity by Luke Hodgkin


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