In recent decades it has become obvious that mathematics has always been a worldwide activity. But this is the first book to provide a substantial collection of English translations of key mathematical texts from the five most important ancient and medieval non-Western mathematical cultures, and to put them into full historical and mathematical context. The Mathematics of Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, India, and Islam gives English readers a firsthand understanding and appreciation of these cultures' important contributions to world mathematics.
The five section authors--Annette Imhausen (Egypt), Eleanor Robson (Mesopotamia), Joseph Dauben (China), Kim Plofker (India), and J. Lennart Berggren (Islam)--are experts in their fields. Each author has selected key texts and in many cases provided new translations. The authors have also written substantial section introductions that give an overview of each mathematical culture and explanatory notes that put each selection into context. This authoritative commentary allows readers to understand the sometimes unfamiliar mathematics of these civilizations and the purpose and significance of each text.
Addressing a critical gap in the mathematics literature in English, this book is an essential resource for anyone with at least an undergraduate degree in mathematics who wants to learn about non-Western mathematical developments and how they helped shape and enrich world mathematics. The book is also an indispensable guide for mathematics teachers who want to use non-Western mathematical ideas in the classroom.
"This pioneering work provides English translations of mathematical texts from each of these regions and cultures, and a better understanding of their contributions to mathematics. There are nuggets of information difficult to find elsewhere. The use of non-mathematical sources, particularly letters and administrative documents from Egypt and Mesopotamia, reveals the practical applications of mathematics and the scribes who composed and used the documents...An essential resource for anyone wishing to know more about how the mathematics of the different regions influenced and shaped the development of world mathematics."--George Gheverghese Joseph, Nature
"We're aware that the ancient cultures were mathematically advanced. Now translations of early texts from five key regions are available together for the first time, and put into context by experts."--Nature Physics
"The corrections to the Eurocentrism that understandably characterized Western assays of the intellectual history of the planet early on must inevitably be applied to the history of mathematics. Editor Katz and his scholarly coauthors have greatly advanced the process with this one-volume sourcebook...The introductory essays that precede each section are lucidly written, well within the reach of an undergraduate math major. Katz asks more or less rhetorically 'how much effect the mathematics of these civilizations had on what is now world mathematics of the twenty-first century.' This invaluable book will help significantly in formulating an answer."--M. Schiff, Choice
"This book is an essential resource for anyone with at least an undergraduate degree in mathematics who wants to learn about non-Western mathematical developments and how they helped shape and enrich world mathematics. The book is also an indispensable guide for mathematics teachers who want to use non-Western mathematical ideas in the classroom."--L'Enseignement Mathematique
Table of Contents
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by J. Lennart Berggren:
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Joseph Warren Dauben:
Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Victor J. Katz:
Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Eleanor Robson:
Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Kim Plofker: