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How Mathematics Happened: The First 50,000 Years

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  26 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
In this fascinating discussion of ancient mathematics, author Peter Rudman does not just chronicle the archeological record of what mathematics was done; he digs deeper into the more important question of why it was done in a particular way. Why did the Egyptians use a bizarre method of expressing fractions? Why did the Babylonians use an awkward number system based on mul ...more
Hardcover, 291 pages
Published October 2nd 2006 by Prometheus Books
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Robert
Feb 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book is a weird concoction: popular maths and archaeology? It could be unique...

It tells the (pre)(hi)story of mathematics from the days of Neolithic hunter-gatherers to the timeof the famous ancient Greek mathematicians, such as Pythagoras. This means working with very limited data and there are a lot of assumptions, suppositions and intuitions filling in the gaps between the data. Of course that is the nature of all archaeology, which is, after all, the task of reconstructing a culture fr
...more
Daniel
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading about the history of math from Egypt, Babylonian. Its a shame I have trouble figuring out math from that long ago in history
MikeFromQueens
Sep 12, 2010 rated it liked it
Pretty good dive into the the history of mathematics. Entertaining at times and easy to follow.
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