The History of Mathematics: An Introduction, Seventh Edition, is written for the one- or two-semester math history course taken by juniors or seniors, and covers the history behind the topics typically covered in an undergraduate math curriculum or in elementary schools or high schools. Elegantly written in David Burton’s inimitable prose, this classic text provides rich historical context to the mathematics that undergrad math and math education majors encounter every day. Burton illuminates the people, stories, and social context behind mathematics’ greatest historical advances while maintaining appropriate focus on the mathematical concepts themselves. Its wealth of information, mathematical and historical accuracy, and renowned presentation make The History of Mathematics: An Introduction, Seventh Edition a valuable resource that teachers and students will want as part of a permanent library.
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Approach: The author has given a reasonably full account of how mathematics has developed over the past 5000 years. Because mathematics is one of the oldest intellectual instruments, it has a long story, interwoven with striking personalities and outstanding achievements. This narrative is basically chronological, beginning with the origin of mathematics in the great civilizations of antiquity and progressing through the first few decades of this century. The presentation necessarily becomes less complete for modern times, when the pace of discovery has been rapid and the subject matter more technical.
The author opted to fit the topic of number theory into the larger historical frame.
The exercises in this text range in difficulty from the purely mechanical to challenging theoretical questions. They are an integral part of the book. The computational exercises develop basic techniques and test understanding of concepts, while those of a theoretical nature give practice in constructing proofs.
Problems: Assorted problems of varying degrees of difficulty have been interspersed throughout the text. Usually these problems typify a particular historical period, requiring the procedures of that time. They are an integral part of the text and students will learn in working them some interesting mathematics as well as history.
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