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GEB3401 History of Mathematics: Home

Course Description

This course aims at providing the historical background to some areas of mathematics including geometry, algebra, calculus, set theory etc. The topics will range from the mathematics of ancient Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Greeks, Hindus, Arabs, Chinese, medieval European to modern mathematics. This course is open to all students.

Recommended Books

The History of Mathematics: an Introduction

This book addresses how mathematics has developed over the past 5000 years. This narrative is chronological with altogether 13 chapters, Early Number Systems and Symbols; Mathematics in Early Civilizations; The Beginning of Greek Mathematics; The Alexandrian School: Euclid; The Twilight of Greek Mathematics: Diophantus; The First Awakening: Fibonacci; The Renaissance of Mathematics: Cardan and Tartaglia; The Mechanical World: Descartes and Newton; The Development of Probability Theory: Pascal, Bernoulli, and Laplace; The Revival of Number Theory: Fermat, Euler, and Gauss; Nineteenth-Century Contributions: Lobachevsky to Hilbert; Transition to the Twentieth Century: Cantor and Kronecker; Extensions and Generalizations: Hardy, Hausdorff, and Noether.

The History of Mathematics: A Brief Course

This third edition examines the elementary arithmetic, geometry, and algebra of numerous cultures, tracing their usage from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, India, China, and Japan all the way to Europe during the Medieval and Renaissance periods where calculus was developed. The book focuses on three main ideas: the facts of who, what, when, and where major advances in mathematics took place; the type of mathematics involved at the time; and the integration of this information into a coherent picture of the development of mathematics. Materials in this book are arranged in a chronological and cultural context.

The Story of Mathematics

This book is a concise survey of the history of mathematics. The goal of the book is "to illustrate how the mathematical sciences were intimately linked to the interests and aspirations of the civilizations in which they flourished," which is achieved in a fast panorama virtually without equations or mathematical symbolism. The text travels from the dawn of Chinese and Indian civilizations to the scientific and digital revolutions of our day. The content covers astronomy, ancient and medieval mathematics from various cultures, Newton, cartography, the quintic, noneuclidean geometry, infinity, chance, game theory, noneuclidean dimensions of modern art, computing, and chaos/fractals, etc.

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