A History of Elementary Mathematics

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Cosimo, Inc., Dec 1, 2007 - Mathematics - 336 pages
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Written as a teaching aid for graduate and undergraduate math students, Florian Cajori's comprehensive 1896 survey of mathematics from Babylonian to modern times makes for a fascinating read. (Did you know that the decimal system is based on our having ten fingers and toes?) Beginning with the number systems of antiquity, continuing through the Hindu and Arabic influence on medieval thought, and concluding with an overview of trends in modern mathematical teaching, this is an invaluable work not only for students and educators but for readers of the history of human thought as well. Swiss-American author, educator, and mathematician FLORIAN CAJORI (1859-1930) was one of the world's most distinguished mathematical historians. Appointed to a specially created chair in the history of mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, he also wrote An Introduction to the Theory of Equations, A History of Mathematical Notations, and The Chequered Career of Ferdinand Rudolph Hassler.

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Page v - The education of the child must accord both in mode and arrangement with the education of mankind as considered historically; or in other words, the genesis of knowledge in the individual must follow the same course as the genesis of knowledge in the race.

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About the author (2007)

An increased interest in the history of the exact sciences manifested in recent years by teachers everywhere, and the attention given to historical inquiry in the mathematical class-rooms and seminaries of our leading universities, cause me to believe that a brief general History of Mathematics will be found acceptable to teachers and students. The pages treating-necessarily in a very condensed form of the progress made during the present century, are put forth with great di_dence, although I have spent much time in the e_ort to render them accurate and reasonably complete. Many valuable suggestions and criticisms on the chapter on \Recent Times" have been made by Dr. E. W. Davis, of the University of Nebraska. The proof-sheets of this chapter have also been submitted to Dr. J. E. Davies and Professor C. A. Van Velzer, both of the University of Wisconsin; to Dr. G. B. Halsted, of the University ofTexas; Professor L. M. Hoskins, of the Leland Stanford Jr. University; and Professor G. D. Olds, of Amherst College, -all of whom have a_orded valuable assistance. I am specially indebted to Professor F. H. Loud, of Colorado College, who has read the proof-sheets throughout. To all the gentlemen above named, as well as to Dr. Carlo Veneziani of Salt Lake City, who read the first part of my work in manuscript, I desire to express my hearty thanks. But in acknowledging their kindness, I trust that I shall not seem to lay upon them any share in the responsibility for errors which I may have introduced in subsequent revision of the text. FLORIAN CAJORI.

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