Number: From Ancient Civilisations to the Computer

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9780006544845: Number: From Ancient Civilisations to the Computer

"Number" reassesses conventional views of civilization. It seeks to challenge, provoke and fascinate as it takes the mystery out of the world of number. Ranging from prehistoric times through the world's main civilizations, John McLeish demonstrates that one of the main skills which marks out humans from animals is their ability to calculate. We visit the bed-chambers of the Chinese Emperor as his officials allocate his bed-mate according to a strict mathematical rota. We get to know the people who have shaped numbers - world famous mathematicians such as Pythagoras and Newton, and the lesser known Greek woman mathematician Hypatia who was martyred for her views on logic. The book also looks at the development of the computer and the people behind it, and reassesses today's society in terms of the numbers which rule our lives.

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From the Back Cover:

In this lucid and accessible book, John McLeish reveals the fascinating history of mankind’s struggle to shape the world through numbers. Demonstrating how the ability to calculate underpins all human endeavour, 'Number' encompasses a vast historical and geographical span, tracing mathematical advances across the globe from the earliest times to the present day. From Sumeria and Babylon to ancient China, from Moghul India to the native cultures of Central and North America, from the Valley of the Kings to Silicon Valley, from the Mayan calendar to the pocket calculator, this enlightening study gives an oblique and unconventional view of the cultural richness and diversity of human civilisation.

‘Charming, intriguing and fascinating.’
THE TIMES

‘John McLeish knows how to make maths amusing. To read his explanation of the Mayan 'qui-pu' bead-strings, or the ancient Babylonians’ algorithms based on sixty, is rather like listening to strains of rare music. His culturally comparative approach is provocative… a liberating, broad-minded history.’
INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

‘One of the delightful features of McLeish’s book is that he spells out in comprehensible detail how each culture performed its mathematical calculations, and this alone makes the book worth buying. Lively and completely fascinating.’
TIMES EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT

‘Enjoyable provocative’
OBSERVER

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McLeish, John
Published by Texas Bookman (1991)
ISBN 10: 0006544843 ISBN 13: 9780006544845
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Book Description Texas Bookman, 1991. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0006544843

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McLeish, John
Published by Texas Bookman (1991)
ISBN 10: 0006544843 ISBN 13: 9780006544845
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McLeish, John
ISBN 10: 0006544843 ISBN 13: 9780006544845
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