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Introduction to the Early Development of Mathematics (Paperback) (Michael K. J. Goodman)
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The need for an engaging and easily understandable guide to ancient mathematics in early civilizations is apparent. Addressing challenges for a nontechnical audience, this book provides a captivating introduction to the history of mathematics using a conversational style. Written to have practical applications in a variety of areas, including economics and commerce, the book utilizes the historical context of mathematics as a pedagogical tool to assist readers as they work through a mathematical topic. Each topic utilizes numerous exercises to connect a sense of relevance of the mathematics as well as the contextual placement within the story of humans working to understand and make sense of the world around. Separated into a significant early country, each chapter starts with a general historical overview of a civilized area such as Egypt, Babylonia, China, Greece, India, and the Islamic world. Later in the chapter, the author features unique illustrations of how each civilization represented numbers, and highlights the civilization's techniques, accomplishments, challenges, and contributions to the mathematical world. Each chapter also contains a number of relevant problems sets with a detailed explanation of the process accompanying the first example of the type of problem. Additional problems are then presented, and select solutions are provided at the end of each chapter. At the end of each chapter there is also further information boxed off, which suggests specific topics for additional research, including keywords from history, archeology, religion, culture and mathematics, and specific mathematicians. Further research materials, additional excercises, related images, and an Instructor’s Solutions Manual are available via the Book’s Companion Site. Topical coverage includes: written number systems including hieroglyphics, calligraphy, and cuneiform; elementary arithmetic operations such as multiplication and division; the representation of fractions; practical and problems in geometry and algebra that early civilizations solved; and theoretical problems that interested these civilizations once the practical ones were mastered.