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A History of Mathematics [Paperback]

Carl B. Boyer , Uta C. Merzbach
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 26.99
Price: 18.35 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

14 Jan 2011
The updated new edition of the classic and comprehensive guide to the history of mathematics For more than forty years, A History of Mathematics has been the reference of choice for those looking to learn about the fascinating history of humankind’s relationship with numbers, shapes, and patterns. This revised edition features up–to–date coverage of topics such as Fermat’s Last Theorem and the Poincaré Conjecture , in addition to recent advances in areas such as finite group theory and computer–aided proofs. Distills thousands of years of mathematics into a single, approachable volume Covers mathematical discoveries, concepts, and thinkers, from Ancient Egypt to the present Includes up–to–date references and an extensive chronological table of mathematical and general historical developments. Whether you′re interested in the age of Plato and Aristotle or Poincaré and Hilbert, whether you want to know more about the Pythagorean theorem or the golden mean, A History of Mathematics is an essential reference that will help you explore the incredible history of mathematics and the men and women who created it.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey Bass; 3rd Edition edition (14 Jan 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470525487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470525487
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 15.5 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 122,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

‘...an ‘engaging’ read for the mathematically minded.’  (Inside OR, June 2011).

From the Back Cover

"Boyer and Merzbach distill thousands of years of mathematics into this fascinating chronicle. From the Greeks to Gödel, the mathematics is brilliant; the cast of characters is distinguished; the ebb and flow of ideas is everywhere evident. . . . Without doubt, this is—and will long remain—a classic one–volume history of mathematics and mathematicians who create it." — William Dunham, author of Journey Through Genius: The Great Theorems of Mathematics "Both readable and scholarly . . . a fine introduction to the topic." —J. David Bolter, author of Turing′s Man "When we read a book like A History of Mathematics , we get the picture of a mounting structure, ever taller and broader and more beautiful and magnificent and with a foundation, moreover, that is as untainted and as functional now as it was when Thales worked out the first geometrical theorems nearly twenty–six centuries ago." —Isaac Asimov (from the Foreword) For more than forty years, A History of Mathematics has been the reference of choice for those looking to learn about the fascinating history of humankind′s relationship with numbers, shapes, and patterns. This revised edition features up–to–date coverage of topics such as Fermat′s Last Theorem and the Poincaré conjecture, in addition to recent advances in areas such as finite group theory and computer–aided proofs. Whether you′re interested in the age of Plato and Aristotle or Poincaré and Hilbert, whether you want to know more about the Pythagorean theorem or the golden mean, A History of Mathematics is an essential reference that will help you explore the incredible history of mathematics and the men and women who created it.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought for my grandson who is taking Maths & Further Maths A levels. He said it is very interesting and helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting! 4 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I needed this book for one of my university courses "history of mathematics", but I found that I was actually interested in the other chapters too, the book covers a wide variety of countries and historical periods and notable mathematicians, and is very fascinating.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I'm new to the history of mathematics but it's been fascinating to read and begin to understand how mathematical thinking has evolved over the centuries. But some of the language feels like it was written way back in history too. Which it probably was. A little dated perhaps?
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for any Math Major 21 Feb 2013
By joatmor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is absolutely cram packed with fascinating information. I have a hard time putting it down. It was originally created as a textbook but I consider it a must-have for anyone interested in Mathematics. I have paid hundreds of dollars for textbooks that were not nearly as educational as this little gem. I highly recommend it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a good perspective on the evolution of mathematics 12 Nov 2013
By Michael George - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is quite serious scholarship, so one does not encounter the romantic fantasies as for example in Bell's Men of Mathematics. It is certainly worth the effort to read to give one a flavor for the development and evolution of mathematics up through the twentieth century and a little into the twenty-first. I found that because it is serious, I will have to make some extra effort to understand some of the facets of the history addressed. Certainly, some of the topics are discussed somewhat more clearly and understandably in say Wikipedia articles. However, it is advantageous to have a large viewpoint such as given in the book. I teach math at community college and I think that it is helpful to a teacher to have this kind of perspective, even when one teaches only at high school or community college. The book inspired me to look into history more and I plan to do some more investigating. There are many interesting points that the authors bring up. I especially like the way they did not shy away from modern math, which can be pretty abstract. The areas I am interested in investigating further are areas of nineteenth century to the present. One has the impression that while math has tended to become more and more a game, like chess, for the specialist and aficionado, it has also certain elements of great interest that are not so trivial, and join with threads from the past to point into the future. One can have a great deal of difficulty separating the wheat from the chaff in the present moment in contemplating the recent events of the past, as so much of modern mathematics is dominated by fads that come and go. But the grand picture of events over hundreds and thousands of years is quite compelling. I have a basic background in graduate-level mathematics (and have passed Ph.D. quals in math), but I did have trouble understanding a fair amount of the book, especially the discussions of geometry, as my background is weak in that area.

Much of the history of mathematics is taken up with struggles to go beyond rather mundane limitations. "Modern" mathematics is appallingly recent. This is reflected in the weight attached in the discussions of the book to mathematical history that is concerned with such "tedious" details as getting to the point where modern numeration was achieved. The really exciting stuff in math is the more recent developments that have touched our lives with the wonder of mathematical creativity, and the development of modern algebra, analysis and geometry. It took a great deal of time for people to realize the possibility of non-Euclidean geometry, and yet once achieved, new developments came rapidly. I personally would have preferred the authors to have treated the very slow early development of mathematics in a more condensed way, and to have focused more on modern math. On the other hand, I have to admit I found the long history to be interesting as well. Even very simple developments such as the use of zero or negative numbers resulted from humans struggling to progress, often contrary to the dictates of common sense, and in the face of their prejudices. While this does not enlighten one terribly about the most modern mathematics, the story of this struggle is edifying and insightful.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!!! 11 Feb 2013
By yhen gallos - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Thanks to the author and publisher for the commendable intellectual information they share on this book...I just hope this book is for sale in the bookstores here in the Philippines.
8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A History of Mathematics; enjoyable readable insight 26 Oct 2011
By the mensa math mensch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A History of Mathematics..although designed for course work, I found this edition to be readable for enjoyment and insight into the evolution of mathematical thought...I use it as a reference with my math students grades 6-12 to enhance their understanding and interest in "why they study math?":
arnie miller, math tutor
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing text 23 Jan 2014
By Wilson Canelo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An excellent text to study the evolution of the concepts related to number theory. I recommend it for those interested in Maths.
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