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Mathematics Elsewhere:
An Exploration of Ideas Across Cultures
Marcia Ascher

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [HTML] or [PDF format]


"In a follow-up to Ascher's highly recommended Ethnomathematics, this scholarly work describes the anthropology of mathematical ideas in traditional societies and shows how the same ideas might be expressed by standard mathematical expressions. . . . It is particularly interesting to see how people with no separate mathematical language made practical use of sophisticated mathematical ideas."--Library Journal

"All throughout the book, I was struck by how many uses human cultures have found for modular arithmetic. . . . [I]t appears that mathematics may be an essential survival skill for the human species rather than an extraneous one. The descriptions in this book describe so many different applications, that it becomes hard to deny that something more fundamental is responsible for the many ways we find to person mathematical operations."--Charles Ashbacher, MAA Online

"Ascher's spendid book is rich in possibilities for raising readers' horizons: anthropological, educational, mathematical, and philosophical."--Philip J. Davis, SIAM News

"Ascher's book is at once a scholarly progress report and an introduction for the curious general reader to a relatively new area of study known as ethnomathematics. . . . Ascher offers a new way of understanding the customs and traditions of non-Western people, adding the lens of mathematics to those of literature, anthropology, and sociology. . . . [She] proves adept at illuminating the connections between local and global mathematics. . . . Part of what makes the volume accessible to the general reader . . . is Ascher's evident love for her subject. The mathematics she includes clearly serves a larger purpose: to enhance and illuminate the anecdotes that are the foundation of genuine cultural understanding."--James V. Rauff, Natural History


"Ascher's Ethnomathematics was excellent--a real landmark--and this book is at least as good. It makes us realize that our way of looking at mathematics can be completely different from those in other cultures. A wonderful book."--Peter Cameron, University of London

"This is a significant contribution to the recognized but still-emerging field of ethnomathematics. Its publication expands the available examples of mathematical ideas in traditional societies. In addition to being of interest to readers who look to the connection between culture and the development of ideas, this book should be of interest to educators at all levels who want to introduce students to diverse mathematical ideas."--Rick Scott, New Mexico State University

"Learning how others interpret time and space is extremely vital for citizenship in a globalized society. This book helps us understand how our neighbors and colleagues in an increasingly diverse world solve problems. This is a valuable and greatly needed book."--Daniel Clark Orey, Ph.D., California State University, Sacramento

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File created: 4/29/2015

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