Intended for juniors and seniors majoring in mathematics, as well as anyone pursuing independent study, this book traces the historical development of four different mathematical concepts by presenting readers with the original sources. Each chapter showcases a masterpiece of mathematical achievement, anchored to a sequence of selected primary sources. The authors examine the interplay between the discrete and continuous, with a focus on sums of powers. They then delineate the development of algorithms by Newton, Simpson and Smale. Next they explore our modern understanding of curvature, and finally they look at the properties of prime numbers. The book includes exercises, numerous photographs, and an annotated bibliography.
Table of ContentsThe Bridge Between Continuous and Discrete.- Solving Equations Numerically: Finding Our Roots.- Curvature and the Notion of Space.- Patterns in Prime Numbers: The Quadratic Reciprocity Law.