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The Nature and Growth of Modern Mathematics Paperback – February 1, 1983

ISBN-13: 978-0691023724 ISBN-10: 0691023727

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (February 1, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691023727
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691023724
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,040,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Here is one of the clearest expositions of our age's fundamental science, its history and controversies, put together in a volume that manages to bring to its difficult subject all the can't-put-it-down suspense of a good thriller."--Wall Street Journal

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The book has 30 chapters, but one can read any chapter in silo.
Wu Bing
This book is an excellent and nearly comprehensive introduction to the history of mathematics.
jaguar
Edna Kramer's is perhaps the best of the genre of books on the History of Mathematics.
"jayjina"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By "jayjina" on November 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Edna Kramer's is perhaps the best of the genre of books on the History of Mathematics.
The most pleasing feature about this book is that it is a fine balance between the mathematical ideas and the lives of the mathematicians. Best of all, it paints a sympathetic history of the times in which the discoveries were made. The use of anecdotes and "little" events in the lives of the men and women really brings to life both the subjects and their work.
Although my particular favourite sections are on the achievements of Euler, Gauss, Lagrange, d'Alambert, Ricci, Levi Civita, and Riemann, the book is truly an expansive landscape - there is coverage of virtually all the greats from the 16th century onwards. There are numerous examples from which to learn the basics of the mathematics. For instance, the sections on the history of the calculus are interwoven with simple, yet lucid examples. Equally, the more complex ideas like integral equations and partial differential equations are illustrated by examples drawn from the physical world.
All this makes the book worthwhile - it DOES NOT skirt over the Mathematics, but rather, makes an active attempt at imparting knowledge and understanding. This makes the book ideal for both the Maths specialist who is interested in history and for the generalist seeking a broad understanding without being daunted by the Maths. Kramer has done a marvellous job in meeting this tough challenge.
If this book has one failing, it is the way it skims over mathematical contributions from non-western societies, but it balances this somewhat by not overplaying the "Greek card". Some books do go on about Euclid as if he was the Newton of the ancients!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
Edna Kramer's book has 30 chapters. Each one starts with an odd bit of history. Then Edna explains the critical impact this nugget had. After that, she does an excellent write up of the mathematics involved, complete with formulas and proofs. Each chapter is then rounded out with more facts, more history, and more math. Every chapter is superbly structured. I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys mathematics.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tim R. Niles on August 29, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read "The Nature and Growth of Modern Mathematics" in 1970 as an engineering student with minors in math and physics. This book, over the course of a summer, provided me with the history of mathematical development at the same time leaving me with the elementals of math areas in which I had not submerged myself. The effect was a tremendous weaving together of mathematical knowledge - both the rudiments of theory and simple examples of applications - which has served me well in the decades since.
There is a great deal of power in the present era from being able to recognize the appropriate techniques from a more wide knowledge base, at times, yes, to synthesize two or more techniques to solve a potent problem or develop an application. Edna Kramers book gave me a great deal, and it is written in a way that could assist people in all occupations and with all interests.
It is a fascinating and at times awe inspring overview of math.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book gives a detailed view of the who and why in the world of mathematics. Included are the actual concepts and proofs on a simplified level. I have taken advanced courses in math but only after I read this book did I understand the reasons for the way mathematics developed and the way mathematicians answered their critics, which is never covered in formal college cources. Highly recomended, easy to read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Wu Bing on July 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
It is a shame that I found this book 30 years too late. Though written in 1970, this book is still by far the best Modern Math book in both historical and technical details. I bought it at a local second-hand bookshop 1 week ago, and I have not stopped reading the thick 760-page book since then.

The book has 30 chapters, but one can read any chapter in silo. I found fresh ideas and in-depth explanations on Galois Group & Theory of equations, Felix Klein's Geometry, Emile Noether's Ideal in Rings... nowhere I could find such lucid explanations.

As the Author said in Preface, any man on the street deserves to know what Modern Math is about and how it affects our life and our universe. Modern Math should not be kept in the ivory tower of the universities, be the privileged treasure of the mathematians. It belongs to the enthusiates, the curious students & the engineers who, by far, ignorant of this fascinating "New" Math which dates since 4,000 years ago.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 22, 1997
Format: Paperback
MS Kramer's THE NATURE AND GROWTH OF MODERN MATHEMATICS is the best book ever written on the subject of mathematics development. It gives an anthology of the history of modern mathematics and some antiquity items that are the root of mathematical development. It is a true history of mathematics because it gives not only the WHO did it but What they did (the mathematics piece that was added in the big puzzle). It presents equations, formulas, and their relationships with pure mathematics and scientific discovery in an easy followed nonthreating manner. This is a mathematical science book that should be read by every mathematician, scientist, engineer, and even lay persons with an interest in the history and development of human knowledge
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