Men of Mathematics

ISBN-10: 0671628186
ISBN-13: 9780671628185
Edition: 1986
List price: $20.00 Buy it from $2.32
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Description: Here is the classic, much-read introduction to the craft and history of mathematics by E.T. Bell, a leading figure in mathematics in America for half a century. Men of Mathematicsaccessibly explains the major mathematics, from the geometry of the  More...

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Book details

List price: $20.00
Copyright year: 1986
Publisher: Touchstone
Publication date: 10/15/1986
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 608
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

Here is the classic, much-read introduction to the craft and history of mathematics by E.T. Bell, a leading figure in mathematics in America for half a century. Men of Mathematicsaccessibly explains the major mathematics, from the geometry of the Greeks through Newton's calculus and on to the laws of probability, symbolic logic, and the fourth dimension. In addition, the book goes beyond pure mathematics to present a series of engrossing biographies of the great mathematicians -- an extraordinary number of whom lived bizarre or unusual lives. Finally, Men of Mathematicsis also a history of ideas, tracing the majestic development of mathematical thought from ancient times to the twentieth century. This enduring work's clear, often humorous way of dealing with complex ideas makes it an ideal book for the non-mathematician.

Introduction
For the reader's comfort
The beginning of modern mathematics
Are mathematicians human? Witless parodies
Illimitable scope of mathematical evolution
Pioneers and scouts
A clue through the maze
Continuity and discreteness
Remarkable rarity of common sense
Vivid mathematics or vague mysticism? Four great ages of mathematics
Our own the Golden Age
Modern Minds in Ancient Bodies
Zeno (fifth century B.C.), Eudoxus (408-355 B.C.), Archimedes (287?-212 B.C.)
Modern ancients and ancient moderns
Pythagoras, great mystic, greater mathematician
Proof or intuition? The taproot of modern analysis
A bumpkin upsets the philosophers
Zeno's unresolved riddles
Plato's needy young friend
Inexhaustible exhaustion
The useful conics
Archimedes, aristocrat, greatest scientist of antiquity
Legends of his life and personality
His discoveries and claim to modernity
A sturdy Roman
Defeat of Archimedes and triumph of Rome
Gentleman, Soldier, and Mathematician
Descartes (1596-1650)The good old days
A child philosopher but no prig
Inestimable advantages of lying in bed
Invigorating doubts
Peace in war
Converted by a nightmare
Revelation of analytic geometry
More butchering
Circuses, professional jealousy, swashbuckling, accommodating lady friends
Distaste for hell-fire and respect for the Church
Saved by a brace of cardinals
A Pope brains himself
Twenty years a recluse
The Method
Betrayed by fame
Doting Elisabeth
What Descartes really thought of her
Conceited Christine
What she did to Descartes
Creative simplicity of Ms geometry
The Prince of Amateurs
Fermat (1601-1665)Greatest mathematician of the seventeenth century
Fermat's busy, practical life
Mathematics his hobby
His flick to the calculus
His profound physical principle
Analytic geometry again
Arithmetica and logistica
Fermat's supremacy in arithmetic
An unsolved problem on primes
Why are some theorems "important"? An intelligence test
"Infinite descent." Fermat's unanswered challenge to posterity
"Greatness and Misery of Man
"Pascal (1625-1662)An infant prodigy buries his talent
At seventeen a great geometer
Pascal's wonderful theorem
Vile health and religious inebriety
The first calculating Frankenstein
Pascal's brilliance in physics
Holy sister Jacqueline, soul-saver
Wine and women? "Get thee to a nunnery.!" Converted on a spree
Literature prostituted to bigotry
The Helen of Geometry
A celestial toothache
What the post-mortem revealed
A gambler makes mathematical history
Scope of the theory of probability
Pascal creates the theory with Fermat
Folly of betting against God or the Devil
On the Seashore
Newton (1642-1727)Newton's estimate of himself
An uncertified youthful genius
Chaos of his times
On the shoulders of giants
His one attachment
Cambridge days
Young Newton masters futility of suffering fools gladly
The Great Plague a greater blessing
Immortal at twenty four (or less)
The calculus
Newton unsurpassed in pure mathematics, supreme in natural philosophy
Gnats, hornets, and exasperation
The Principia
Samuel Pepys and other fussers
The flattest anticlimax in history
Controversy, theology, chronology, alchemy, public office, death
Master of All Trades
Leibniz (1646-1716)
Two superb contributions
A politician's offspring
Genius at fifteen
Seduced by the law
The "universal characteristic." Symbolic reasoning
Sold out to ambition
A master diplomat
Diplomacy being what it is, the diplomatic exploits of the master are left to the historians
Fox into historian, statesman into mathematician
Applied ethics
Existence of God
Optimism
Forty years of futility
Discarded like a dirty rag
Nature or Nurture?
The Bernoullis (seventeenth-and eighteenth centuries)
Eight mathematicians in three generations
Clinical evidence for her

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