Mathematics and Its History
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Mathematics and Its History

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Description

From a review of the second edition:"This book covers many interesting topics not usually covered in a present day undergraduate course, as well as certain basic topics such as the development of the calculus and the solution of polynomial equations. The fact that the topics are introduced in their historical contexts will enable students to better appreciate and understand the mathematical ideas involved...If one constructs a list of topics central to a history course, then they would closely resemble those chosen here."

(David Parrott, Australian Mathematical Society)



This book offers a collection of historical essays detailing a large variety of mathematical disciplines and issues; it's accessible to a broad audience. This third edition includes new chapters on simple groups and new sections on alternating groups and the Poincare conjecture. Many more exercises have been added as well as commentary that helps place the exercises in context.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 662 pages
  • 160 x 240 x 38.1mm | 2,490g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • 3rd ed. 2010
  • 4 Tables, black and white; XXII, 662 p.
  • 144196052X
  • 9781441960528
  • 294,399

Back cover copy

From the reviews of the second edition:

"This book covers many interesting topics not usually covered in a present day undergraduate course, as well as certain basic topics such as the development of the calculus and the solution of polynomial equations. The fact that the topics are introduced in their historical contexts will enable students to better appreciate and understand the mathematical ideas involved...If one constructs a list of topics central to a history course, then they would closely resemble those chosen here."

(David Parrott, Australian Mathematical Society)

"The book...is presented in a lively style without unnecessary detail. It is very stimulating and will be appreciated not only by students. Much attention is paid to problems and to the development of mathematics before the end of the nineteenth century... This book brings to the non-specialist interested in mathematics many interesting results. It can be recommended for seminars and will be enjoyed by the broad mathematical community."

(European Mathematical Society)

"Since Stillwell treats many topics, most mathematicians will learn a lot from this book as well as they will find pleasant and rather clear expositions of custom materials. The book is accessible to students that have already experienced calculus, algebra and geometry and will give them a good account of how the different branches of mathematics interact."

(Denis Bonheure, Bulletin of the Belgian Society)

This third edition includes new chapters on simple groups and combinatorics, and new sections on several topics, including the Poincare conjecture. The book has also been enriched by added exercises.
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Table of contents

Preface to the Third Edition.- Preface to the Second Edition.- Preface to the First Edition.- The Theorem of Pythagoras.- Greek Geometry.- Greek Number Theory.- Infinity in Greek Mathematics.- Number Theory in Asia.- Polynomial Equations.- Analytic Geometry.- Projective Geometry.- Calculus.- Infinite Series.- The Number Theory Revival.- Elliptic Functions.- Mechanics.- Complex Numbers in Algebra.- Complex Numbers and Curves.- Complex Numbers and Functions.- Differential Geometry.- Non-Euclidean Geometry.- Group Theory.- Hypercomplex Numbers.- Algebraic Number Theory.- Topology.- Simple Groups.- Sets, Logic, and Computation.- Combinatorics.- Bibliography.- Index.-
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Review quote

From the reviews of the third edition:

"The author's goal for Mathematics and its History is to provide a "bird's-eye view of undergraduate mathematics." (p. vii) In that regard it succeeds admirably. ... Mathematics and its History is a joy to read. The writing is clear, concise and inviting. The style is very different from a traditional text. ... The author has done a wonderful job of tying together the dominant themes of undergraduate mathematics. ... While Stillwell does a wonderful job of tying together seemingly unrelated areas of mathematics, it is possible to read each chapter independently. I would recommend this fine book for anyone who has an interest in the history of mathematics. For those who teach mathematics, it provides lots of information which could easily be used to enrich an opening lecture in most any undergraduate course. It would be an ideal gift for a department's outstanding major or for the math club president. Pick it up at your peril - it is hard to put down!"

(Richard Wilders, MAA Reviews)

"I appreciate and recommend Stillwell's presentation of mathematics and history written in a lively style. The author's concept (history mostly as the means of approaching mathematics) remains a matter of interest for both the mathematician and the historian ... ." (Rudiger Thiele, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1207, 2011)









From the reviews of the second edition:



"This book covers many interesting topics not usually covered in a present day undergraduate course, as well as certain basic topics such as the development of the calculus and the solution of polynomial equations. The fact that the topics are introduced in their historical contexts will enable students to better appreciate and understand the mathematical ideas involved...If one constructs a list of topics central to a history course, then they would closely resemble those chosen here."

(David Parrott, Australian Mathematical Society)



"The book...is presented in a lively style without unnecessary detail. It is very stimulating and will be appreciated not only by students. Much attention is paid to problems and to the development of mathematics before the end of the nineteenth century... This book brings to the non-specialist interested in mathematics many interesting results. It can be recommended for seminars and will be enjoyed by the broad mathematical community."

(European Mathematical Society)



"Since Stillwell treats many topics, most mathematicians will learn a lot from this book as well as they will find pleasant and rather clear expositions of custom materials. The book is accessible to students that have already experienced calculus, algebra and geometry and will give them a good account of how the different branches of mathematics interact."

(Denis Bonheure, Bulletin of the Belgian Society)
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About John Stillwell

John Stillwell is a professor of mathematics at the University of San Francisco. He is also an accomplished author, having published several books with Springer, including The Four Pillars of Geometry; Elements of Algebra; Numbers and Geometry; and many more.
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Rating details

137 ratings
4.34 out of 5 stars
5 55% (76)
4 28% (39)
3 12% (16)
2 4% (5)
1 1% (1)
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