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Great Moments in Mathematics Before 1650 (Dolciani Mathematical Expositions No 5) Paperback – June, 1983

ISBN-13: 978-0883853108 ISBN-10: 0883853108 Edition: New edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Mathematical Assn of Amer; New edition edition (June 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0883853108
  • ISBN-13: 978-0883853108
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,038,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Charles Ashbacher HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 14, 2004
In teaching my courses, I always try to point out to the students some of the origins of the mathematics that they are trying to learn. Sometimes, it helps them to realize that the mathematics did not always exist, but had to be invented so that humans could better describe the circumstances that civilization created. However, there is no way that I could describe the invention of mathematics as well as Eves does.
The material is split into twenty segments, each of which has its origin in a lecture he conducted on the history of mathematics. Eves also gives the current best estimate for the date at which the invention took place. Events included in the book are the development of the abstractions needed for proof techniques, the Pythagorean theorem, the discovery of irrational numbers, the invention of the extremely efficient Hindu-Arabic numeral system, the development of logarithms and the precursors of calculus.
Every time I read some of the expository material developed by Professor Eves, I grow more impressed with his ability. My first exposure to this book was two decades ago in a math history class and it remains the most readable textbook I have ever had. Now that I read it for enjoyment, I can appreciate it in other ways. Exercises are included at the end of each segment and solid hints for their solution are included in the back.
While most of the time mathematical progress is measured in increments, there are times when it is measured in quantum leaps. Eves captures some of the earliest cases where a new technique was created that substantially altered forever how mathematics is done. And he does so in a manner where reading it is a pleasure rather than a chore.
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By S. Donohue on February 7, 2010
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At first I thought this book would be dry like every other math book, but when I actually sat down and read it, I realized it was far from boring. You can read each chapter individually; you don't have to read the bool left cover to right. If math was taught in high school with this book, kids may find it more interesting and, dare I say, relevant.
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