The Great Mathematicians

The Great Mathematicians

The Great Mathematicians

The Great Mathematicians

Excerpt

H. W. Turnbull's excellent little book, a biographical history of mathematics, is the best work of its kind. It succeeds remarkably well in achieving the author's aim--to show through the representatives of their day in this venerable science "how a mathematician thinks, how his imagination, as well as his reason, leads him to new aspects of the truth."

Mathematics has been the subject of many histories. The classic works include Sir Thomas Heath admirable two-volume A History of Greek Mathematics, his shorter Manual, his monographs on Apollonius, Archimedes, Aristarchus; Moritz Cantor elaborate treatise, Vorlesungen Uber Geschichte Der Mathematik (two volumes); Hieronymus Georg Zeuthen Geschichte Der Mathematik in Altertum und Mittelalter; Florian Cajori error-ridden, excessively condensed, dated, but still useful and widely used A History of Mathematics; David Eugene Smith richly informative, well-illustrated two-volume History of Mathematics, a fine introduction to the elementary branches; Johannes Tropfke sevenvolume (when last heard from) Geschichte tier Elementarmathematik, an enormously well-stocked survey; Gina Loria Storia Delle Matematiche, a good three-volume account from antiquity to modern mathematics. Among the less formidable works are W. W. R. Ball A Short Account of the History of Mathematics, and his Primer, both very popular, now old-fashioned but still enjoyable; J. W. N. Sullivan The History of Mathematics in Europe . . .

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