This is a novel, short, and eminently readable history of mathematics. Many histories provide a chronological history of the entire subject, which can sometimes make it difficult to follow the development of a particular branch over time. Dahan-Delmmedico and Pfeiffer succeed splendidly in tracing each branch from its beginnings forward. They also give an outstanding account of how the Arabs not only preserved Greek mathematics, but extended it in the 800 year period from 400-1200. The large number of informative illustrations support the text and contribute to what is a great read.
Amy Dahan-Dalmedico is director of research at CNRS and assistant director of the Center Alexandre Koyre. Her research has focused on mathematics in the second half of the twentieth century and climate change. Jeanne Peiffer is a researcher at CNRS and editor-in-chief of the Journal of the History of Mathematics. Her research interests focus mainly on geometry and the connections with Renaissance art; in particular Albrecht Durer. She has also written extensively about women in mathematics. Sanford Segal is the author of 44 journal articles in mathematics, the history of mathematics, or mathematical education and the author of two books. His main interest in recent years has been the history of mathematics. He was a professor of the mathematics department at the University of Rochester from 1977 to 2008.
Translator's preface; 1. Landscapes; 2. A moment of rationality: Greece; 3. The constitution of classical algebra; 4. Figures, spaces, and geometries; 5. Limits: from the unconceived to the concept; 6. The concept of function and the development of analysis; 7. At the crossroads of algebra, analysis, and geometry: complex numbers; 8. New objects, new laws: the emergence of algebraic structures.
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