Synopses & Reviews
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.
Review
Both compelling and easy to follow. (Library Journal)
Review
The story of algebra is the story of civilization itself. Unknown Quantity buzzes with rivalries, frustrations, and breakthroughs . . . a first-rate account. (New Scientist)
Review
[A] very entertaining survey of the development of algebra. (
Publishers Weekly)
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.
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 Abels 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 historians narrative authority and a beloved teachers clarity and passion, Derbyshire leads readers on an intellectually satisfying and pleasantly challenging journey through the development of abstract mathematical thought.
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.