Fascinating and highly readable, this book recounts the history of mathematics as revealed in the lives and writings of the most distinguished practitioners of the art: Archimedes, Descartes, Fermat, Pascal, Newton, Leibniz, Euler, Gauss, Hamilton, Einstein, and many more. Author Stuart Hollingdale introduces and explains the roles of these gifted and often colorful figures in the development of mathematics as well as the ways in which their work relates to mathematics as a whole.
Although the emphasis in this absorbing survey is primarily biographical, Hollingdale also discusses major historical themes and explains new ideas and techniques. No specialized mathematical knowledge on the part of the reader is assumed. Superbly informative, this volume offers an accessible, interesting guide to one of the pillars of modern science, and to a supremely important aspect of human culture through the ages.
Reprint of the Penguin Books, London and New York, 1989 edition.
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