Encyclopedia of Mathematics, Tanton J., 2005

Encyclopedia of Mathematics, Tanton J., 2005.

   Encyclopedia of Mathematics contains more than 800 entries arranged in alphabetical order. The aim of the historical notes, culture-specific articles, and the biographical portraits included as entries, apart from providing historical context, is to bring a sense of the joy that mathematics has brought people in the past. The back matter of this text contains a timeline listing major accomplishments throughout the historical development of mathematics, a list of current mathematics organizations of interest to students and teachers, and a bibliography.

Encyclopedia of Mathematics, Tanton J., 2005


A.
abacus
Any counting board with beads laid in parallel grooves, or strung on parallel rods. Typically each bead represents a counting unit, and each groove a place value. Such simple devices can be powerful aids in performing arithmetic computations.

The fingers on each hand provide the simplest “set of beads” for manual counting, and the sand at one’s feet an obvious place for writing results. It is not surprising then that every known culture from the time of antiquity developed, independently, some form of counting board to assist complex arithmetical computations. Early boards were simple sun-baked clay tablets, coated with a thin layer of fine sand in which symbols and marks were traced. The Greeks used trays made of marble, and the Romans trays of bronze, and both recorded counting units with pebbles or beads. The Romans were the first to provide grooves to represent fixed place-values, an innovation that proved to be extremely useful. Boards of this type remained the standard tool of European merchants and businessmen up through the Renaissance.

CONTENTS.
Acknowledgments.
Introduction.
A to Z Entries.
Feature Essays: “History of Equations and Algebra”.
“History of Calculus”.
“History of Functions”.
“History of Geometry”.
“History of Probability and Statistics”.
“History of Trigonometry”.
Appendixes.
Appendix I Chronology.
Appendix II Bibliography and Web Resources.
Appendix III Associations.
Index.



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