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The Beginnings and Evolution of Algebra

The Beginnings and Evolution of Algebra


Part of Dolciani Mathematical Expositions

  • Date Published: April 2000
  • availability: This item is not supplied by Cambridge University Press in your region. Please contact Mathematical Association of America for availability.
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780883853290


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About the Authors
  • The elements of algebra were known to the ancient Mesopotamians at least 4000 years ago. Today algebra stands as one of the cornerstones of modern mathematics. How then did the subject evolve? How did its constituent ideas and concepts arise, and how have they changed over the years? These are the questions that the authors address in this work. The authors challenge the existing view that the development of algebra was driven by the investigation of determinate equations and in particular their solution by radicals. In short they claim that the study of indeterminate equations was no less important. Historians of mathematics, as well as working algebraists who want to look into the history of their subject, will find this an illuminating read.

    • Highly readable
    • The authors are world experts in this material
    • Suitable for undergraduate history of mathematics courses
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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2000
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780883853290
    • length: 196 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 154 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.275kg
    • contains: 28 b/w illus. 2 tables
    • availability: This item is not supplied by Cambridge University Press in your region. Please contact Mathematical Association of America for availability.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Elements of algebra in ancient Babylonia
    2. Ancient Greek 'geometric algebra'
    3. The birth of literal algebra
    4. Algebra in the middle ages in the Arabic east and in Europe
    5. The first achievements of algebra in Europe
    6. Algebra in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
    7. The theory of algebraic equations in the nineteenth century
    8. Problems of number theory and the birth of commutative algebra
    9. Linear and noncommutative algebra.

  • Authors

    I. G. Bashmakova, Moscow State University

    G. S. Smirnova, Moscow State University


    Abe Shenitzer

    Assisted by

    David A. Cox

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