The History of Mathematics: A Brief Course

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9780471180821: The History of Mathematics: A Brief Course
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This pragmatic, issues-oriented history traces the discovery, solution, and application of mathematical problems.

From the arithmetic of the ancient Egyptians to the intricacies of postcalculus math, The History of Mathematics: A Brief Course focuses on how mathematics has developed over the centuries. Roger Cooke has selected the most intriguing and significant problems in the history of mathematics and asked of each one: Why was it important? How was it solved? How was its solution applied? Did its solution lead to further advances in the field?

The carefully selected topics in this book include

  • The nature and origins of mathematics
  • Early Western mathematics as practiced by the Egyptians, the Mesopotamians, the Greeks, and the Romans
  • Non-Western traditions, including Hindu, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Islamic mathematics
  • The development of modern mathematics from the Middle Ages to the calculus and other seventeenth-century discoveries to today's number theory
  • The relationship of modern mathematics to science
  • Contemporary issues in mathematics, including the role of women and minorities.

This readable, up-to-date study is ideal for undergraduate courses in mathematics and mathematics education. Everyone interested in the field will want to keep a copy of The History of Mathematics close at hand.

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From the Publisher:

In this book, the author explains the history of mathematics by concentrating on the mathematics that was done and what it means in relation to other mathematics and other areas of human endeavor. At all stages the reader will understand why people were interested in the problems that mathematicians were solving, and what consequences their solutions had for the further development of mathematics and its applications.

About the Author:

Roger Cooke is a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Vermont. For many years he has taught a general introduction to the history of mathematics.

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