History of Mathematics. General Histories of Mathematics
- Mathematics in Civilization
- Resnikoff and Wells. $11
- I like this very well. It provides a reasonable
introduction in under 400 pages, and has exactly the sort of
exercises I find myself assigning. They are quite selective
in their choice of material.
- The Development of Mathematics
- Eric Temple Bell. $12
- An interesting work. In fact, when I open it at random
I generally stumble on something of interest. Quite polemical.
From page 1:
... mathematics has come down to the present by
the two main streams of number and form.
From page 132: Modern mathematics originated in five major
advances of the seventeenth century:... .
From page 81: [The Greek'] mathematics is intelligible to us ...
Ours ... would appear to them ... as conclusive evidence of insanity.
- Mathematical Thought from Ancient to Modern Times
- Morris Kline
- Like Bell's, this is a selective history, oriented toward understanding
how mathematics has progressed. More technical, more serious, less
polemical in tone, perhaps equally opinionated, but certainly of
greater depth. This is a subject
in which passion is not out of place - since notions of progress
- Great Moments in Mathematics, Howard Eves (2 vols.)
- This is the original version of Eves' history book before
it became a textbook. It is
shorter, cheaper, and better and could be used as the main text.
Each volume is $29, which I would say is overpriced. They
are frequently available used at $10-$15.
- An Introduction to the History of Mathematics
- Howard Eves. Each succeeding edition is longer, more expensive, and less
focussed - like our calculus textbooks. $82
- History of Mathematics
- Moritz Cantor, 4 vols in German (Geschichte der Mathematik).
- Out of print, but useful in
emergencies. A very excellent work, though out of date in
some respects. In the Mathematics Library.
Back to resource
page for History of Algebra
History of Algebra Seminar Home
Professor Cherlin's Home Page.
Department of Mathematics
File date: Feb. 1999