Kim Plofker Mathematics in India

ISBN 13: 9780691120676

Mathematics in India

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9780691120676: Mathematics in India
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Based on extensive research in Sanskrit sources, Mathematics in India chronicles the development of mathematical techniques and texts in South Asia from antiquity to the early modern period. Kim Plofker reexamines the few facts about Indian mathematics that have become common knowledge--such as the Indian origin of Arabic numerals--and she sets them in a larger textual and cultural framework. The book details aspects of the subject that have been largely passed over in the past, including the relationships between Indian mathematics and astronomy, and their cross-fertilizations with Islamic scientific traditions. Plofker shows that Indian mathematics appears not as a disconnected set of discoveries, but as a lively, diverse, yet strongly unified discipline, intimately linked to other Indian forms of learning.


Far more than in other areas of the history of mathematics, the literature on Indian mathematics reveals huge discrepancies between what researchers generally agree on and what general readers pick up from popular ideas. This book explains with candor the chief controversies causing these discrepancies--both the flaws in many popular claims, and the uncertainties underlying many scholarly conclusions. Supplementing the main narrative are biographical resources for dozens of Indian mathematicians; a guide to key features of Sanskrit for the non-Indologist; and illustrations of manuscripts, inscriptions, and artifacts. Mathematics in India provides a rich and complex understanding of the Indian mathematical tradition.


**Author's note: The concept of "computational positivism" in Indian mathematical science, mentioned on p. 120, is due to Prof. Roddam Narasimha and is explored in more detail in some of his works, including "The Indian half of Needham's question: some thoughts on axioms, models, algorithms, and computational positivism" (Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 28, 2003, 1-13).

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"Mathematics in India presents an accessible, readable, and well-informed treatment of the history of India's mathematical traditions. It includes topics discussed little to date: the social setting of the mathematicians, the textual practices learned in Sanskrit, and the realm of observational and timekeeping practices. The survey of the Kerala school and the later life of Indian mathematics are detailed, unique, and valuable."--Christopher Minkowski, University of Oxford

"No reliable book of this kind has been available, and Plofker's work makes an underdeveloped area accessible to all who are interested."--Johannes Bronkhorst, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

About the Author:

Kim Plofker is visiting assistant professor of mathematics at Union College.

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Book Description Princeton University Press. Condition: New. Based on research in Sanskrit sources, this title chronicles the development of mathematical techniques and texts in South Asia from antiquity to the early modern period. Num Pages: 360 pages, 10 halftones. 40 line illus. BIC Classification: 1FKA; PBX. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational; (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 243 x 166 x 30. Weight in Grams: 820. . 2008. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Seller Inventory # V9780691120676

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2009. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Based on extensive research in Sanskrit sources, Mathematics in India chronicles the development of mathematical techniques and texts in South Asia from antiquity to the early modern period. Kim Plofker reexamines the few facts about Indian mathematics that have become common knowledge--such as the Indian origin of Arabic numerals--and she sets them in a larger textual and cultural framework. The book details aspects of the subject that have been largely passed over in the past, including the relationships between Indian mathematics and astronomy, and their cross-fertilizations with Islamic scientific traditions. Plofker shows that Indian mathematics appears not as a disconnected set of discoveries, but as a lively, diverse, yet strongly unified discipline, intimately linked to other Indian forms of learning. Far more than in other areas of the history of mathematics, the literature on Indian mathematics reveals huge discrepancies between what researchers generally agree on and what general readers pick up from popular ideas. This book explains with candor the chief controversies causing these discrepancies--both the flaws in many popular claims, and the uncertainties underlying many scholarly conclusions. Supplementing the main narrative are biographical resources for dozens of Indian mathematicians; a guide to key features of Sanskrit for the non-Indologist; and illustrations of manuscripts, inscriptions, and artifacts. Mathematics in India provides a rich and complex understanding of the Indian mathematical tradition. **Author s note: The concept of computational positivism in Indian mathematical science, mentioned on p. 120, is due to Prof. Roddam Narasimha and is explored in more detail in some of his works, including The Indian half of Needham s question: some thoughts on axioms, models, algorithms, and computational positivism (Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 28, 2003, 1-13). Seller Inventory # AAU9780691120676

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2009. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Based on extensive research in Sanskrit sources, Mathematics in India chronicles the development of mathematical techniques and texts in South Asia from antiquity to the early modern period. Kim Plofker reexamines the few facts about Indian mathematics that have become common knowledge--such as the Indian origin of Arabic numerals--and she sets them in a larger textual and cultural framework. The book details aspects of the subject that have been largely passed over in the past, including the relationships between Indian mathematics and astronomy, and their cross-fertilizations with Islamic scientific traditions. Plofker shows that Indian mathematics appears not as a disconnected set of discoveries, but as a lively, diverse, yet strongly unified discipline, intimately linked to other Indian forms of learning. Far more than in other areas of the history of mathematics, the literature on Indian mathematics reveals huge discrepancies between what researchers generally agree on and what general readers pick up from popular ideas. This book explains with candor the chief controversies causing these discrepancies--both the flaws in many popular claims, and the uncertainties underlying many scholarly conclusions. Supplementing the main narrative are biographical resources for dozens of Indian mathematicians; a guide to key features of Sanskrit for the non-Indologist; and illustrations of manuscripts, inscriptions, and artifacts. Mathematics in India provides a rich and complex understanding of the Indian mathematical tradition. **Author s note: The concept of computational positivism in Indian mathematical science, mentioned on p. 120, is due to Prof. Roddam Narasimha and is explored in more detail in some of his works, including The Indian half of Needham s question: some thoughts on axioms, models, algorithms, and computational positivism (Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 28, 2003, 1-13). Seller Inventory # AAU9780691120676

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