An Introduction to the Early Development of Mathematics


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An easy-to-read presentation of the early history of mathematics

Engaging and accessible, An Introduction to the Early Development of Mathematics provides a captivating introduction to the history of ancient mathematics in early civilizations for a nontechnical audience. Written with practical applications in a variety of areas, the book utilizes the historical context of mathematics as a pedagogical tool to assist readers working through mathematical and historical topics.

The book is divided into sections on significant early civilizations including Egypt, Babylonia, China, Greece, India, and the Islamic world. Beginning each chapter with a general historical overview of the civilized area, the author highlights the civilization’s mathematical techniques, number representations, accomplishments, challenges, and contributions to the mathematical world. Thoroughly class-tested, An Introduction to the Early Development of Mathematics features:

  • Challenging exercises that lead readers to a deeper understanding of mathematics
  • Numerous relevant examples and problem sets with detailed explanations of the processes and solutions at the end of each chapter
  • Additional references on specific topics and keywords from history, archeology, religion, culture, and mathematics
  • Examples of practical applications with step-by-step explanations of the mathematical concepts and equations through the lens of early mathematical problems
  • A companion website that includes additional exercises

An Introduction to the Early Development of Mathematics is an ideal textbook for undergraduate courses on the history of mathematics and a supplement for elementary and secondary education majors. The book is also an appropriate reference for professional and trade audiences interested in the history of mathematics.

Michael K. J. Goodman is Adjunct Mathematics Instructor at Westchester Community College, where he teaches courses in the history of mathematics, contemporary mathematics, and algebra. He is also the owner and operator of The Learning Miracle, LLC, which provides academic tutoring and test preparation for both college and high school students.

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xv

1 Introduction 1

2 Mathematical Anthropology 3

3 Ancient Egyptian Mathematics 9

Answers to Problems 31

4 Ancient Chinese Mathematics 37

Answers to Problems 74

5 Babylonian Mathematics 79

Answers to Problems 106

6 Mathematical Archeology 113

7 Classical Greek Mathematics 127

Answers to Problems 159

8 Early Hindu Mathematics 163

Answers to Problems 178

9 Early Arabian Mathematics 181

Answers to Problems 204

Appendix A: Suggestions for Exercises 207

Appendix B: a Theory About Base 60 in Babylonia 221

Further Reading 227

Recommended Websites and Videos 229

Index 231

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