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Posted: 3/3/2012 6:38:05 PM EDT
Anyone read a good book that discusses math? I'm not talking about learning to do math problems, but more of a historical approach.

I'd like to learn about how it was originally discovered and proven.

Got any ideas?

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Link Posted: 3/3/2012 6:44:36 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/6/2012 7:45:44 PM EDT
I dont know any books that open ended, they usually focus on a particular slice of mathematics, geometry, algebra, calculus, statistics, differential equations, linear equations, linkages between these, there are even books devoted to numbers like zero, pi, e, phi, gamma, and others. Can you narrow down the question ?

I am reading "The Equation That Couldn't Be Solved" right now, its pretty good without getting super technical, if you had four years of math in high school you should be able to follow it.

There is a lot of personal drama/tragedy in the history of mathematics, and many math history books get into that. Is that what you're looking for?

The Equation That Couldn't Be Solved
Link Posted: 3/7/2012 9:19:34 AM EDT
Im not sure what im looking for, but let's stick with the topics of geometry and calculus.

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Link Posted: 3/7/2012 8:45:06 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Cole2534:
Im not sure what im looking for, but let's stick with the topics of geometry and calculus.

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The authors you want are Euclid and Newton. :)
Link Posted: 3/8/2012 9:41:51 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Still_learning:
Originally Posted By Cole2534:
Im not sure what im looking for, but let's stick with the topics of geometry and calculus.

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The authors you want are Euclid and Newton. :)


And Descartes, Euler, Bernoulli, and especially Leibniz. Reading about Leibniz and Newton, and how they came to the same conclusions, is fascinating. There is still debate as to who is the real father of calculus. If they were still alive, they'd have to go on Maury.
Link Posted: 3/8/2012 8:01:00 PM EDT

This is a pretty good intro: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_geometry

A bunch of free math ebooks here: http://www.e-booksdirectory.com/listing.php?category=40

An online version of Euclid's Elements here: http://aleph0.clarku.edu/~djoyce/java/elements/toc.html

That'll keep you busy for a while :D
Link Posted: 3/12/2012 6:39:53 AM EDT
Gullberg: Mathematics From the Birth of Numbers.

That being said, if you're into historical mathematics, google books is priceless.
Link Posted: 4/1/2012 9:33:41 AM EDT
I checked a book out of my grade school library, entitled "Algebra".
The next year in jr high 7th grade, they taught us algebra, but I had already seen the second order polynomial.

There is another book "Everything I needed to know, I learned in Kindergarten"

I have designed high performance electronics for the up link from Air Force One to a satellite using only first year college calculus.
There are 2.5 million college freshmen. Probably 1,000,000 of them are going to study calculus.
That represents 1,000,000 first year calculus books dumped on the used book market every year.
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