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The History of Mathematics: An Introduction
The History of Mathematics: An Introduction, Sixth Edition, is written for the one- or two-semester math history course taken by juniors or seniors, and covers the history behind the topics typically covered in an undergraduate math curriculum or in elementary schools or high schools. Elegantly written in David Burton's imitable prose, this classic text provides rich histo ...more
Hardcover, 800 pages
Published November 8th 2005 by McGraw-Hill Science/Engineering/Math
(first published 1985)
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Not, I suppose, a good fit for everyone, but if the reader has any curiosity at all regarding the subject, this is an excellent look at the development of Mathematical thought from ancient times through the present. The only flaw I can find worth quibbling about is that at times, especially as the subjects being addressed approached the modern era, a certain level of familiarity with the material being discussed was assumed on the part of the reader, such that it was more than passing difficult ...more
Anyone interested in the history of science should try to get their hands on this book. It has been a go-to book for me for the last ten years. There is a lot of propaganda on the web today regarding the role of Islam and the East in the development of Western science and mathematics. My advice on this is to stick with mainstream scholarship on the subject. Islam and the East have certainly had a role to play but as you will find in the pages of this book, it is not nearly as prominent as it see ...more
Being a textbook, this is not a book for everyone. However, if you are "into" mathematics, and especially love the history of math, and history in general, you'll love it if you put forth the effort. It's full of interesting vignettes about how math evolved, set in the context of what was going on socio-politically at the time. The lives, hardships, and successes of all the world's greatest mathematicians are discussed. Really quite a fascinating book, in my opinion.