jacket, Enlightening Symbols

Enlightening Symbols A Short History of Mathematical Notation and Its Hidden Powers

Paperback (13 Dec 2016) | English

  • $21.39
Add to basket

Includes delivery to USA

10+ copies available online - Usually dispatched within 24 hours

Used from other sellers

Synopsis

While all of us regularly use basic math symbols such as those for plus, minus, and equals, few of us know that many of these symbols weren't available before the sixteenth century. What did mathematicians rely on for their work before then? And how did mathematical notations evolve into what we know today? In Enlightening Symbols, popular math writer Joseph Mazur explains the fascinating history behind the development of our mathematical notation system. He shows how symbols were used initially, how one symbol replaced another over time, and how written math was conveyed before and after symbols became widely adopted.

Traversing mathematical history and the foundations of numerals in different cultures, Mazur looks at how historians have disagreed over the origins of the numerical system for the past two centuries. He follows the transfigurations of algebra from a rhetorical style to a symbolic one, demonstrating that most algebra before the sixteenth century was written in prose or in verse employing the written names of numerals. Mazur also investigates the subconscious and psychological effects that mathematical symbols have had on mathematical thought, moods, meaning, communication, and comprehension. He considers how these symbols influence us (through similarity, association, identity, resemblance, and repeated imagery), how they lead to new ideas by subconscious associations, how they make connections between experience and the unknown, and how they contribute to the communication of basic mathematics.

From words to abbreviations to symbols, this book shows how math evolved to the familiar forms we use today.

About the Publisher

Princeton University Press

Princeton University Press

We seek to publish the innovative works of the greatest minds in academia, from the most respected senior scholar to the extraordinarily promising graduate student, in each of the disciplines in which we publish. The Press consciously acquires a collection of titles--a coherent "list" of books--in each discipline, providing focus, continuity, and a basis for the development of future publications.

Book information

ISBN: 9780691173375
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Pub date:
Language: English
Number of pages: 312
Weight: 454g
Height: 156mm
Width: 235mm
Spine width: 20mm