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-Title: Mathematics. From the Birth of Numbers.
Jan Gullberg.
W.W. Norton & Co.
24 + 1094
B & W photos and graphics.
-Publication Date:
March 24, 1997.
-ISBN: 039304002X

Front Cover

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Mathematics is the backbone of science, the foundation of logic. In this comprehensive and entertaining historical survey Mathematics: From the Birth of Numbers, Swedish science writer and physician Jan Gullberg traces the evolution of modern mathematics from its humble origin as counting tool to its richly elaborated present state.

(Extracted from the press release).




-Contents in Brief.
-Foreword: "Mathematics in Our Culture" by Peter Hilton.
-Information for the Reader.
-1- Numbers and Language.
-2- Systems of Numeration.
-3- Types of Numbers.
-4- Cornerstones of Mathematics.
-5- Combinatorics.
-6- Symbolic Logic.
-7- Set Theory.
-8- Introduction to Sequences and Series.
-9- Theory of Equations.
-10- Introduction to Functions.
-11- Overture to the Geometries.
-12- Elementary Geometry.
-13- Trigonometry.
-14- Hyperbolic Functions.
-15- Analytic Geometry.
-16- Vector Analysis.
-17- Fractals.
-18- Matrices and Determinants.
-19- Embarking on Calculus.
-20- Introduction to Differential Calculus.
-21- Introduction to Integral Calculus.
-22- Power Series.
-23- Indeterminate Limits.
-24- Complex Numbers Revisited.
-25- Extrema and Critical Points.
-26- Arc Length.
-27- Centroids.
-28- Area.
-29- Volume.
-30- Motion.
-31- Harmonic Analysis.
-32- Methods of Approximation.
-33- Probability Theory.
-34- Differential Equations.
-Name Index.
-Subject Index.
-Symbols in Common Use.



Recognising the fundamental value of mathematics as one of the capital sciences that sustain human knowledge, it turns out to be rather strange to get to know that this is one of the subjects having a lesser charisma among students. The reasons for that are several, yet no doubt the most important one is the lack of an adequate method that makes of mathematics something attractive and interesting to the pupil.

This is precisely why this book by Gullberg, a writer who in actual fact is not a mathematician but rather a doctor, is different from the others that deal with this matter. Its thickness and number of pages should not scare anybody, since its pages are full of examples, anecdotes and drawings, thus making mathematics into an enjoyable theme, easy to learn, entertaining and amusing at the same time.

It hasn't been easy for Gullberg, since it has taken him 10 years to prepare this text. Yet the wait has been worth its while. Excellently ordered, its author reviews in this book the history of figures and of the numbering systems, teaches us step by step the fundamental bases of the subject (from the laws of arithmetic and algebra, to trigonometry, equations, fractals, to complex numbers or probability theories).

If there is a word to define Gullberg's work, this no doubt is "clarity". Everyone who has forgotten their mathematics will have here sufficient material to refresh their memory without suffering, and those who enter for the first time in this marvellous science, so near to logic, will find in this book everything they need, without the fuss to keep searching in different works what here is coordinated and perfectly dealt with so as to make of mathematics a popular theme available to everybody.

With Mathematics, become your own teacher, learn by yourself with the least effort, wrapped by the multiple examples and the enormous amount of illustrations that make of this work one of the best displays of how one must teach to get "adepts" to the science of numbers.


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