Infinite Ascent: A Short History of Mathematics

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Modern Library, 2005 - Mathematics - 197 pages
39 Reviews
In Infinite Ascent, David Berlinski, the acclaimed author of The Advent of the Algorithm, A Tour of the Calculus, and Newton’s Gift, tells the story of mathematics, bringing to life with wit, elegance, and deep insight a 2,500-year-long intellectual adventure.

Berlinski focuses on the ten most important breakthroughs in mathematical history–and the men behind them. Here are Pythagoras, intoxicated by the mystical significance of numbers; Euclid, who gave the world the very idea of a proof; Leibniz and Newton, co-discoverers of the calculus; Cantor, master of the infinite; and Gödel, who in one magnificent proof placed everything in doubt.

The elaboration of mathematical knowledge has meant nothing less than the unfolding of human consciousness itself. With his unmatched ability to make abstract ideas concrete and approachable, Berlinski both tells an engrossing tale and introduces us to the full power of what surely ranks as one of the greatest of all human endeavors.

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Review: Infinite Ascent: A Short History of Mathematics (Modern Library Chronicles #22)

User Review  - Stephen Hackney - Goodreads

The author provides a rich historical understanding of the development of the various disciplines of mathematics: algebra, geometry, algebraic geometry,probability, the theory of finite simple groups ... Read full review

Review: Infinite Ascent: A Short History of Mathematics (Modern Library Chronicles #22)

User Review  - Vishy - Goodreads

One of the finest books on mathematics that I have read. The chapter about Reimann's contributions to mathematics gave me goosebumps. Very fascinating and very accessible. Highly recommended. Read full review


Analytic Geometry
The Calculus
Complex Numbers

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About the author (2005)

David Berlinski received his Ph.D. from Princeton University and has taught mathematics, philosophy, and English at Stanford, Rutgers, the University of Puget Sound, and the Université de Paris at Jussieu. He has been a research fellow at both the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria and the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques in France. His many books have been translated into more than a dozen European and Asian languages. His essays in Commentary have become famous. A senior fellow at the Discovery Institute in Seattle, he lives and works in Paris.

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