Mathematics: Queen and Servant of Science
An account of pure and applied mathematics from the geometry of Euclid to that of Riemann, and its application in Einsteins theory of relativity. The 20 chapters cover such topics as: algebra, number theory, logic, probability, infinite sets and the foundations of mathematcs, rings, matrices, transformations, groups, geometry, and topology.
Paperback, 437 pages
Published September 30th 1996 by Mathematical Association of America (MAA)
(first published January 1st 1952)
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A bit dated, but still very clear and interesting. I love how the history and the mathematics are both given the same importance. I enjoy his style, which changes from informal in places, to extremely technical in other, to even grandiose. A highly enjoyable book!
Eric Temple Bell (February 7, 1883 – December 21, 1960) was a mathematician and science fiction author born in Scotland who lived in the U.S. for most of his life. He published his non-fiction under his given name and his fiction as John Taine.More about Eric Temple Bell...
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“These estimates may well be enhanced by one from F. Klein (1849-1925), the leading German mathematician of the last quarter of the nineteenth century. 'Mathematics in general is fundamentally the science of self-evident things.' ... If mathematics is indeed the science of self-evident things, mathematicians are a phenomenally stupid lot to waste the tons of good paper they do in proving the fact. Mathematics is abstract and it is hard, and any assertion that it is simple is true only in a severely technical sense—that of the modern postulational method which, as a matter of fact, was exploited by Euclid. The assumptions from which mathematics starts are simple; the rest is not.”
“In his wretched life of less than twenty-seven years Abel accomplished so much of the highest order that one of the leading mathematicians of the Nineteenth Century (Hermite, 1822-1901) could say without exaggeration, 'Abel has left mathematicians enough to keep them busy for five hundred years.' Asked how he had done all this in the six or seven years of his working life, Abel replied, 'By studying the masters, not the pupils.”More quotes…