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1 Hawthorne Mathematics- General

This title in other editions

Unknown Quantity: A Real and Imaginary History of Algebra

by

Unknown Quantity: A Real and Imaginary History of Algebra Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:


For curious nonmathematicians and armchair algebra buffs, John Derbyshire discovers the story behind the formulae, roots, and radicals. As he did so masterfully in Prime Obsession, Derbyshire brings the evolution of mathematical thinking to dramatic life by focusing on the key historical players. Unknown Quantity begins in the time of Abraham and Isaac and moves from Abel’s proof to the higher levels of abstraction developed by Galois through modern-day advances. Derbyshire explains how a simple turn of thought from “this plus this equals this” to “this plus what equals this?” gave birth to a whole new way of perceiving the world.

With a historian’s narrative authority and a beloved teacher’s clarity and passion, Derbyshire leads readers on an intellectually satisfying and pleasantly challenging journey through the development of abstract mathematical thought.

Book News Annotation:

Algebra emerged early in recorded history, stepping aside from the declarative to create the interrogative, a process that has led to fascination and even obsession. Derbyshire, a mathematician and linguist by education and systems analyst by profession, starts with the algebra of about 4,000 years ago and works up to Diophantus, whose place as the father of algebra may be disputed but whose contributions nevertheless are universally admired, then through Hypatia, Cardano, Descartes, Newton, von Leibniz, Lagrange, Cauchy, Abel, Galois, Riemann, Lie, Poincar, Hilbert, NoetherLefschetz, Zariski, MacLane and Grothendieck, along with a host of other luminaries, giving readers accessible descriptions of their discoveries and even providing non-specialists with extra help on basics such as vector spaces, field theory and algebraic geometry. The result is concise, readable, and enjoyable. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

For curious nonmathematicians and armchair algebra buffs, John Derbyshire discovers the story behind the formulae, roots, and radicals. As he did so masterfully in Prime Obsession, Derbyshire brings the evolution of mathematical thinking to dramatic life by focusing on the key historical players. Unknown Quantity begins in the time of Abraham and Isaac and moves from Abel?s proof to the higher levels of abstraction developed by Galois through modern-day advances. Derbyshire explains how a simple turn of thought from ?this plus this equals this? to ?this plus what equals this?? gave birth to a whole new way of perceiving the world. With a historian?s narrative authority and a beloved teacher?s clarity and passion, Derbyshire leads readers on an intellectually satisfying and pleasantly challenging journey through the development of abstract mathematical thought.

Synopsis:

Written for those who are unencumbered by a fear of formulae, this volume presents a history of algebra that is intellectually satisfying and pleasantly challenging.

About the Author

JOHN DERBYSHIRE is a mathematician and linguist by education, a systems analyist by profession, and the celebrated author of Prime Obsession, a mathematical biography of Bernhard Riemann, and the highly acclaimed novel Seeing Calvin Coolidge in a Dream. His work appears frequently in National Review and The New Criterion.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780452288539
Author:
Derbyshire, John
Publisher:
Plume Books
Subject:
Algebra - General
Subject:
History -- Philosophy.
Subject:
History
Subject:
Algebra
Subject:
Algebra -- History.
Subject:
Equations -- History.
Subject:
Mathematics - Algebra
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass Market
Publication Date:
June 2007
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8-page b/w photo and illustration insert
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
7.98x5.36x.86 in. .72 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects


» Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Algebra » General
» Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » General
» Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » History
» Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Popular Surveys and Recreational

Unknown Quantity: A Real and Imaginary History of Algebra Used Trade Paper
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Product details 416 pages Plume Books - English 9780452288539 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
For curious nonmathematicians and armchair algebra buffs, John Derbyshire discovers the story behind the formulae, roots, and radicals. As he did so masterfully in Prime Obsession, Derbyshire brings the evolution of mathematical thinking to dramatic life by focusing on the key historical players. Unknown Quantity begins in the time of Abraham and Isaac and moves from Abel?s proof to the higher levels of abstraction developed by Galois through modern-day advances. Derbyshire explains how a simple turn of thought from ?this plus this equals this? to ?this plus what equals this?? gave birth to a whole new way of perceiving the world. With a historian?s narrative authority and a beloved teacher?s clarity and passion, Derbyshire leads readers on an intellectually satisfying and pleasantly challenging journey through the development of abstract mathematical thought.

"Synopsis" by , Written for those who are unencumbered by a fear of formulae, this volume presents a history of algebra that is intellectually satisfying and pleasantly challenging.
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