Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A History of Mathematics” as Want to Read:
A History of Mathematics
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A History of Mathematics

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  652 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Presupposes a knowledge of college level mathematics but is accessible to the average reader through its consistent treatment of mathematical structure with a strict adherence to historical perspective and detail. The material is arranged chronologically beginning with archaic origins and covers Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greek, Chinese, Indian, Arabic and European contributi ...more
Paperback, Second Edition, 736 pages
Published March 20th 1991 by Wiley (first published 1968)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
William Schram
This book reminds me of E.T. Bell's book, Men of Mathematics. It contains the history of mathematical discoveries as they are known to scholars. For instance, it shows that certain theorems were known to the oriental nations like China and India, and that a lot of things had to be rediscovered after the whole rigmarole with the fall of empires and nations and the destruction of ancient repositories of knowledge.

It starts with counting and goes on through the Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks and Ro
...more
Anittah
Nov 09, 2010 Anittah marked it as to-read
Recommends it for: The Prominently Mandibled
Recommended to Anittah by: Empty Set
Purchased near the Penn campus at a lovely used bookstore apparently tended to by a lovely grey-haired couple (think: camel wide wale cords and maroon boiled wool slippers).

http://www.biblio.com/bookstore/house...

Unfortunately this book is difficult to read in bed as I keep wanting to fetch the quad rule paper and work on math problems as the Babylonians did. So it's slow going.

Oh, base 10; how status quo you have become! What better commentary on norm-shifting than the "fixed" (<-- two syl
...more
Susan Mazur Stommen
Batter and deep fry any subject with a crispy coating of history and I am your gal. I know this was written in 1968, but the ancient and prehistory sections are not as deep or comprehensive as they could be. The upside is, makes me want to look into the archaeology of math, and if there isn't such a field already, one should invent it.

ShiraHE
May 29, 2016 ShiraHE rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: maths, teaching
I am certain that I read the English version of this book as part of my History of Mathematics class while doing my MAT in secondary mathematics.
I loved doing the ancient mathematics!

Must re-read for a proper review.
Shira
Roberto Zanasi
Nov 16, 2010 Roberto Zanasi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: matematica
Un'opera colossale sui progressi della matematica. Dalle origini del concetto di numero fino a Bourbaki.
Ted
Oct 28, 2016 Ted rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: math, history

Anyone looking for a good work on the history of mathematics should certainly consider Boyer's seminal work, which is nowadays readily available in second and third editions.

I've used the book for decades as a welcome reference work.

One of the editions shown on GR warns that familiarity with college level math is recommended for readers. I would take that with a grain of salt. Of course there are some equations, some small amount of rather technical discussion here and there. But it isn't a book
...more
Ginger Heskett
Dec 29, 2016 Ginger Heskett marked it as to-read
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/14340362
Jason
May 11, 2014 Jason rated it it was ok
A rather dull book. I know it is old, but I've read older (math) books that were far more interesting. It isn't the material, it is the way it is presented. There is no enthusiasm for the topic at hand. Nothing flows, it feels like list of facts in paragraph form.

I know a book like this can't go too in-depth, but an in-depth look into one proof or problem of the greatest minds wouldn't be too much. Euclid's proof of the Pythagorean theorem would have been nice. There are little to no proofs and
...more
Emadacuz
Oct 25, 2011 Emadacuz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Iniziamo dalle dimensioni: spropositate, un librone di tante tante pagine. Ma non bisognapreoccuparsi, perche' la lettura scorre via molto ma molto veloce.
A patto che si abbiano:

1- voglia di mettersi a ragionare su un ogni singolo passaggio e capitolo:

2- un minimo di interesse per la storia, per la matematica e per la storia della matematica:

3- conoscenze di aritmetica e algebra abbastanza elevate.

Nel mio caso, i tre requisiti sono soddisfatti. Cio' che manca e' il tempo e quindi la lettura pro

...more
Marco E.
Oct 25, 2011 Marco E. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Iniziamo dalle dimensioni: spropositate, un librone di tante tante pagine. Ma non bisognapreoccuparsi, perche' la lettura scorre via molto ma molto veloce.
A patto che si abbiano:

1- voglia di mettersi a ragionare su un ogni singolo passaggio e capitolo:

2- un minimo di interesse per la storia, per la matematica e per la storia della matematica:

3- conoscenze di aritmetica e algebra abbastanza elevate.

Nel mio caso, i tre requisiti sono soddisfatti. Cio' che manca e' il tempo e quindi la lettura pro

...more
Simone Scardapane
Oct 17, 2012 Simone Scardapane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scientific
Uno di quei libri che merita l'articolo davanti: IL Boyer, il libro perfetto per chiunque si voglia avvicinare alla Storia della Matematica. C'è tutto quello che si potrebbe desiderare: chiarezza espositiva, perfetta divisione in capitoli, bibliografia eccellente per approfondire ogni argomento, esempi su esempi per illustrare ogni concetto... Consigliatissimo, peccato solo che chi denigra la matematica non arriverà mai a leggerlo ed a capire quale eccezionale impresa, collettiva ed individuale, ...more
Metello
Aug 27, 2012 Metello rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cartaceo, divulgativi
Un bel libro, secondo me solo per appassionati di matematica, in particolare da 3/4 in avanti adatto solo a chi possiede un livello universitario, perché inizia a riferirsi a aree e teoremi senza spiegarli più, rendendone quindi necessaria la conoscenza.

Ho trovato interessante notare la strana sequenza che ha seguito lo sviluppo della matematica, per certi versi l'inverso di quella che viene spiegata oggi (interi, reali, limiti, derivate, integrali).
Piccola ma pure sempre rilevante la parte dedi
...more
SPARZA DUDA
Very enlightening and entertaining,
a pleasure to read and share with the backstage details
of math thinkers and their lives and motives
brings math down to reality and yet celebrates
the imagination and creative of so many thinkers
Jason Leary
Dec 03, 2011 Jason Leary rated it liked it
Just a marvelous story of thought development over thousands of years. This quite non-math guy had to skim some parts, but it was quite accessible and satisfying.
Susan
Nov 08, 2016 Susan rated it liked it
I've used this as reference and found it definitely accessible for those with college level math. I need to read it all in order to give a proper review.
Emma
Dec 16, 2014 Emma added it
I admit, I have not read the entire thing, but I made a good-faith effort and have read over 300 pages to date. I think that counts as reading it.
Peter Macinnis
Mar 31, 2008 Peter Macinnis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, mathematics
My edition is the revised 2nd edition, revised by Uta C. Merzbach and sits on the shelf next to my venerable copy of Bell. It is a pleasure to poke into.
Michael
This book is huge, and I didn't read all of it. But in short doses it can be fun. The exposition isn't always very good.
Glenn Williams
Glenn Williams rated it really liked it
Feb 12, 2016
Eduardo Mauro
Eduardo Mauro rated it really liked it
Dec 28, 2007
Paul Pseudo-Expert
Paul Pseudo-Expert rated it really liked it
Jan 09, 2016
Trento
Trento rated it liked it
Jun 29, 2015
Joshua Packard
Joshua Packard rated it really liked it
Nov 30, 2016
Tim Uruski
Tim Uruski rated it it was amazing
Jul 10, 2016
Kathryn
Kathryn rated it liked it
Jun 28, 2012
Germancho
Germancho rated it it was amazing
Feb 24, 2011
Giorgio Gianotto
Giorgio Gianotto rated it liked it
Mar 24, 2012
Josie
Josie rated it really liked it
Dec 29, 2007
Osama Saied
Osama Saied rated it it was amazing
Jul 19, 2015
Natfoxxfiends
Natfoxxfiends rated it it was amazing
Feb 01, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Mathematical Experience
  • Mathematics: From the Birth of Numbers
  • The Principles of Mathematics
  • What Is Mathematics?: An Elementary Approach to Ideas and Methods
  • Nature's Numbers: The Unreal Reality Of Mathematics
  • An Imaginary Tale: The Story of the Square Root of Minus One
  • The Mathematical Tourist: New & Updated Snapshots of Modern Mathematics
  • Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel (Great Discoveries)
  • Mathematics for the Million: How to Master the Magic of Numbers
  • The Universal History of Numbers: From Prehistory to the Invention of the Computer
  • Proofs from THE BOOK
  • Men of Mathematics
  • The Princeton Companion to Mathematics
  • The Math Book: From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension, 250 Milestones in the History of Mathematics
  • What Is Mathematics, Really?
  • Journey through Genius: The Great Theorems of Mathematics
  • e: the Story of a Number
  • Euler's Gem: The Polyhedron Formula and the Birth of Topology

Share This Book



“Now we can see what makes mathematics unique. Only in mathematics is there no significant correction—only extension. Once the Greeks had developed the deductive method, they were correct in what they did, correct for all time. Euclid was incomplete and his work has been extended enormously, but it has not had to be corrected. His theorems are, every one of them, valid to this day.” 1 likes
More quotes…