Episodes in the Mathematics of Medieval Islam

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9780387963181: Episodes in the Mathematics of Medieval Islam

This book presents episodes from the mathematics of medieval Islam, work which has had a great impact on the development of mathematics. The author describes the subject in its proper historical context, referring to specific Arabic texts. Among the topics discussed are decimal arithmetic, plane and spherical trigonometry, algebra, interpolation and approximation of roots of equations. This book should be of great interest to historians of mathematics, as well as to students of mathematics. The presentation is readily accessible to anyone with a background in high school mathematics.

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The book is, in spite of the author's more modest claims, an introductory survey of main developments in those disciplines which were particularly important in Medieval Islamic mathematics...No knowledge of mathematics (or of the history of mathematics) beyond normal high-school level is presupposed, and everything required beyond that (be it Apollonian theory of conics or the definitions of celestial circles) is explained carefully and clearly. Scattered throughout the work are a number of lucid remarks on the character of Islamic mathematics or of mathematical work in general. The book will hence not only be an excellent textbook for the teaching of the history of mathematics but also for the liberal art aspect of mathematics teaching in general.

- Jens Høyrup, Mathematical Reviews

...as a textbook, this work is highly commendable...It is definitely the product of a skillful mathematician who has collected over the years a reasonably large number of interesting problems from medieval Arabic mathematics. None of them is pursued to exhaustion, but all of them arranged in such a way, together with accompanying exercises, so that they would engage an active mind and introduce a subject, which I am sure the author agrees with me is, at this stage, very difficult to introduce.

- G.Saliba, Zentralblatt

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From the reviews:

J.L. Berggren

Episodes in the Mathematics of Medieval Islam

"[The] first book of its kind . . . Very interesting. It is definitely the product of a skillful mathematician who has collected over the years a reasonably large number of interesting problems from medieval Arabic mathematics. None of them is pursued to exhaustion, but all of them arranged in such a way, together with accompanying exercises, so that they would engage an active mind and introduce a subject."

―ZENTRALBLATT MATH

"This is a most scholarly book. The presentation is in the style of a textbook; each of the six chapters being followed by a set of exercises and a bibliography. ... There is a good table of contents and a comprehensive index. ... This is an excellent book full of information and thought-provoking ideas. It is worthy of careful study which will lead to a greater understanding of what the Islamic world has contributed to mathematics." (D.Stander, The Mathematical Gazette, Vol. 89 (515), 2005)

"Written in 1986 and inspired by Asger Aaboe’s classic Episodes in the Early History of Mathematics, this book contains a wealth of classroom-ready examples of much of the mathematics one finds in high school and early college ... . Springer has taken the right step by issuing a paperback edition to get the book into the hands of a more general readership. ... The re-issue of this gem is significant and welcomed. It will enrich your classes and deepen your perspective on mathematics and culture." (Glen van Brummelen, The MAA Mathematical Sciences Digital Library, January, 2004)

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J.L. Berggren
Published by Springer (1986)
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