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-   -   Learning math from a historical perspective? (http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=527651)

homeylova223 Sep6-11 02:18 PM

Learning math from a historical perspective?
 
I am interested in learning math from a historical perspective. Starting with euclid and working myself up to descartes. I am thinking of a reading list to use and this is what I think I will use. I have taken math classes all the way up to calc 2 so I am not an expert and I am doing this just as side project.

1.Euclid Elements

2.The works of archimedes

3. Apollonious Conic sections

4. Diophantus Arithmetica

5. Fibbionaci Libri abbaci and his book on squares

6.Ars Magna

7. The geometry of Rene Descartes

And obviously some book on trigonometry.

The only thing is that while some of these books are cheap older historical books are difficult to find and may not be translated into english and I dislike reading books online I do not know why.

What I need is a website to find old books.

tiny-tim Sep6-11 04:15 PM

hi homeylova223! :smile:
Quote:

Quote by homeylova223 (Post 3488668)
What I need is a website to find old books.

easiest way is a google book search

do a google search the usual way, then click the drop-down menu "More", then click "Books"

for example, that will give you Apollonius (note the spelling!) on Conic Sections at http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=x...us+Conic&hl=en :wink:

Anonymous217 Sep6-11 04:39 PM

Re: Learning math from a historical perspective?
 
You can also google "history of math course" and you'll find a couple universities which teach the course. Just scan through the different course webpages and I'm sure you can accumulate a pretty good list of whatever historical 'documents', or books, that you'd like to read.

Note: if you really want to understand the historical readings, it's generally recommended that you know basic abstract algebra or real analysis, although it of course depends on the book you're reading. A basic understanding of math from the main fields should make you able to understand them at a better perspective.

superg33k Sep6-11 04:44 PM

Re: Learning math from a historical perspective?
 
I liked the book "God created the integers" by Stephen Hawking. It tells you a bit about the person, then extracts from their best work translated into english. It has a bunch of the people you mentioned too.


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