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Math Through the Ages : A Gentle History for Teachers and Others

by ;
Edition:
Revised
ISBN13:

9780883857366

ISBN10:
0883857367
Format:
Hardcover
Pub. Date:
12/1/2003
Publisher(s):
Mathematical Assn of Amer
List Price: $49.95
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Summary

Where did maths come from? Who thought up all those algebra symbols, and why? What's the story behind ... negative numbers? ... the metric system? ... quadratic equations? ... sine and cosine? The 25 independent sketches in Math through the Ages answer these questions and many others in an informal, easygoing style that's accessible to teachers, students, and anyone who is curious about the history of mathematical ideas. Each sketch contains Questions and Projects to help you learn more about its topic and to see how its main ideas fit into the bigger picture of history. The 25 short stories are preceded by a 56-page bird's-eye overview of the entire panorama of mathematical history, a whirlwind tour of the most important people, events, and trends that shaped the mathematics we know today. Reading suggestions after each sketch provide starting points for readers who want to pursue a topic further.

Table of Contents

Preface vii
History in the Mathematics Classroom 1(4)
The History of Mathematics in a Large Nutshell 5(60)
Beginnings
6(8)
Greek Mathematics
14(10)
Meanwhile, in India
24(4)
Arabic Mathematics
28(4)
Medieval Europe
32(3)
The 15th and 16th Centuries
35(2)
Algebra Comes of Age
37(5)
Calculus and Applied Mathematics
42(5)
Rigor and Professionalism
47(6)
Abstraction, Computers, and New Applications
53(6)
Mathematics Today
59(6)
Sketches
1. Keeping Count Writing Whole Numbers
65(8)
2. Reading and Writing Arithmetic Where the Symbols Came From
73(6)
3. Nothing Becomes a Number The Story of Zero
79(6)
4. Broken Numbers Writing Fractions
85(8)
5. Something Less Than Nothing? Negative Numbers
93(8)
6. By Tens and Tenths Metric Measurement
101(6)
7. Measuring the Circle The Story of π
107(6)
8. The Cossic Art Writing Algebra with Symbols
113(8)
9. Linear Thinking Solving First Degree Equations
121(6)
10. A Square and Things Quadratic Equations
127(6)
11. Intrigue in Renaissance Italy Solving Cubic Equations
133(6)
12. A Cheerful Fact The Pythagorean Theorem
139(8)
13. A Marvelous Proof Fermat's Last Theorem
147(8)
14. On Beauty Bare Euclid's Plane Geometry
155(8)
15. In Perfect Shape The Platonic Solids
163(6)
16. Shapes by the Numbers Coordinate Geometry
169(8)
17. Impossible, Imaginary, Useful Complex Numbers
177(8)
18. Half Is Better Sine and Cosine
185(8)
19. Strange New Worlds The Non-Euclidean Geometries
193(8)
20. In the Eye of the Beholder Projective Geometry
201(6)
21. What's in a Game? The Start of Probability Theory
207(8)
22. Making Sense of Data Statistics Becomes a Science
215(8)
23. Machines that Think? Electronic Computers
223(8)
24. The Arithmetic of Reasoning Logic and Boolean Algebra
231(6)
25. Beyond Counting Infinity and the Theory of Sets
237(8)
What to Read Next 245(8)
The Reference Shelf
245(3)
Fifteen Historical Books You Ought to Read
248(2)
The Internet and Other Media
250(3)
Bibliography 253(10)
Index 263


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