Mathematics Emerging. A Sourcebook 1540-1900

This sourcebook describes and analyses the development of mathematics in Western Europe from the late 16th century to the end of 19th century. It is an important addition to a big family of sourcebooks: A. Speiser, Klassische Stücke der Mathematik (1925); H. Wieleitner, Mathematische Quellenbücher (1927-1929); D. E. Smith, A source Book in Mathematics I., II. (1929, repr. 1959, 1985); J. R. Newman, The World of Mathematics, I.-IV. (1956); H. O. Midonick, The Treasury of Mathematics I., II. (1965); J. van Heyenoort, From Frege to Gödel. A Source Book in Mathematics, 1870-1931 (1967); G. Birkhoff, A Source Book in Classical Analysis (1973); A. P. Juškević (red.), Chrestomatija po istorii matematiki, I. Arifmetika i algebra, Teorija čisel, Geometrija, II. Matematičeskij analiz, Teorija verojatnostej (1976, 1977); D. J. Struik (ed.), A source Book in Mathematics 1200-1800 (1969, repr. 1986, 1990); J. Fauvel, J. Gray, The History of Mathematics. A Reader (1987); U. Bottazzini, P. Freguglia, L. Toti Rigatelli, Fonti per la storia della matematica: aritmetica, geometria, algebra, analisi infinitesimale, calcolo delle probabilita, logica (1992); and V. J. Katz (ed.), The Mathematics of Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, India, and Islam: A Sourcebook (2007), which are very important for a good understanding of the history of mathematics.

The interesting book connects two different ways of approaching the history of mathematics - the way of topics and the way of periods. The book consists of 18 chapters. Each chapter focuses on a particular topic (e.g. Calculus of Newton and Leibniz, Early mechanics, Early number theory, Early probability, Power series, Functions, Calculus, Limits and continuity, Polynomial equations, Algebra, Derivatives and integrals, Convergence and completeness, Complex analysis and Linear algebra). The author describes the development of mathematics using primary source material (provided with explanatory notes), historical comments and modern mathematical interpretations. The main aim of this book is not to present a pre-digested version of the history of mathematics but to encourage the reader to develop their own critical historical thinking on mathematics and its development. Therefore the book will be a very important original publication related well to contemporary mathematics. At the end of the book, there is a summary of the main mathematicians, institutions and journals mentioned in the text, which provides a quick reference guide to dates and places. The bibliography consists of primary sources, secondary sources, further reading and digital archives as well as an index. The book can be recommended to teachers of mathematics as well as students or researchers in the history of mathematics who are interested in the development of modern mathematics and science.

Reviewer: 
mbec
Book details
Author:  Publisher: 
Published: 
2008
ISBN: 
978-0-19-922690-0
Price: 
GBP 49.50
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