Synopses & Reviews
Mathematics Across Cultures: A History of Non-Western Mathematics consists of essays dealing with the mathematical knowledge and beliefs of cultures outside the United States and Europe. In addition to articles surveying Islamic, Chinese, Native American, Aboriginal Australian, Inca, Egyptian, and African mathematics, among others, the book includes essays on Rationality, Logic and Mathematics, and the transfer of knowledge from East to West. The essays address the connections between science and culture and relate the mathematical practices to the cultures which produced them. Each essay is well illustrated and contains an extensive bibliography. Because the geographic range is global, the book fills a gap in both the history of science and in cultural studies. It should find a place on the bookshelves of advanced undergraduate students, graduate students, and scholars, as well as in libraries serving those groups.
Review
`...the book is a worthwhile addition to the bookshelf of teachers of mathematics at any level. It provides a useful antidote to the notion that all mathematical ideas were developed in Western Europe and provides the teacher with a numerous example by which to convince students that, indeed, every culture has mathematics.' Mathematical Reviews, 2002a
Table of Contents
Introduction; H. Selin. Acknowledgments. List of Contributors. Communicating Mathematics Across Culture and Time; L.N. Wood. Anthropological Perspectives on Ethnomathematics; R. Eglash. East and West; E.J. Van Kley. Rationality and the Disunity of the Sciences; D. Turnbull. Logics and Mathematics: Challenges Arising in Working across Cultures; H. Verran. A Historiographical Proposal for Non-Western Mathematics; U. D'Ambrosio. The Uses of Mathematics in Ancient Iraq, 6000-600 BC; E. Robson. Egyptian Mathematics; J. Ritter. Islamic Mathematics; J. Sesiano. The Hebrew Mathematical Tradition; Y.T. Langermann, S. Simonson. Inca Mathematics; T.E. Gilsdorf. Mesoamerican Mathematics; M.P. Closs. The Ethnomathematics of the Sioux Tipi and Cone; D.C. Orey. Traditional Mathematics in Pacific Cultures; W.S. Sizer. Australian Aboriginal Mathematics: Disparate Mathematics of Land Ownership; H. Verran. On Mathematical Ideas in Cultural Traditions of Central and Southern Africa; P. Gerdes. Accounting Mathematics in West Africa: Some Stories of Yoruba Number; H. Verran. Chinese Mathematical Astronomy; J.-C. Martzloff. The Mathematical Accomplishment of Ancient Indian Mathematicians; T.K. Puttaswamy. The Dawn of Wasan (Japanese Mathematics); J. Shigeru. Developments of Materials for Ethnomathematics in Korea; K.S. Hwan. Index.