A review of taming the infinite

Shah, Tanuj (2016) A review of taming the infinite. At Right Angles, 5 (1). ISSN 2582-1873

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Abstract

At some point students begin to show interest in the origins of mathematical ideas: How were logarithms discovered? Who was the first person to compute the log tables? When were quadratic equations first used, and how were they solved? Can equations of a higher order be solved in a similar way? Why are representations of complex numbers on a plane called Argand diagrams? Ian Stewart’s book Taming the Infinite: The Story of Mathematics from the First Numbers to Chaos Theory throws light on questions like these. It is an attempt at mapping the major themes in mathematics through a historical perspective. This compact book of less than 400 pages covers the major topics in Mathematics and is accessible to students in secondary school. The latter part of the book gives a flavour of some areas of college mathematics. An underlying theme of the book is that the modern world owes a great debt to advances in Mathematics, and mention is made of some of the applications of Mathematics. Brief biographical sketches of the major players are given, though there are some odd omissions like Euler and Leibniz.

Item Type: Articles in APF Magazines
Authors: Shah, Tanuj
Document Language:
Language
English
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mathematics, History, Mathematicians, Numbers, Sets, Algebra, Trigonometry, Calculus
Subjects: Natural Sciences > Mathematics
Divisions: Azim Premji University > University Publications > At Right Angles
Full Text Status: Public
URI: http://publications.azimpremjifoundation.org/id/eprint/3123
Publisher URL:

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