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A short account of the history of mathematics

by Ball

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It's the classic resource on the history of math. From the early Greek influences to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to the end of the 19th century, trace the fascinating foundation of mathematics as it developed through the ages. Aristotle, Galileo, Kepler, Newton: you know the names. Now here's what they really did, and the effect their discoveries had on our culture, all explained in a way the layperson can understand. Begin with the basis of arithmetic (Plato and the introduction of geometry), and discover why the use of Arabic numerals was critical to the development of both commerce and science. The development of calculus made space travel a reality, while the abacus prefigured the computer. The greats examined in depth include Leonardo da Vinci, a brilliant mathematician as well as artist; Pascal, who laid out the theory of probabilities; and Fermat, whose intriguing theory has only recently been solved.



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