Book recommendations on the history of mathematics?

Your favorite books and links
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AnalyticalEngine
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Book recommendations on the history of mathematics?

Post by AnalyticalEngine »

I learned a lot of math in school, but it was all basically just how to copy techniques to solve problems. What I want to learn now is the more formal mathematics/proofs of these concepts, as well as the history of how various things came to be. Does anyone have any good book suggestions that cover this?

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Alphaville
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Re: Book recommendations on the history of mathematics?

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ertyu
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Re: Book recommendations on the history of mathematics?

Post by ertyu »

I'm a fan of pop nonfiction that takes one simple concept and tells a story around it. For example, googling, "history of zero book" will yield a couple of titles that do this with the emergence and adoption of the number zero. Why we use x for the unknown has a pretty neat story, too.

daylen
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Re: Book recommendations on the history of mathematics?

Post by daylen »

The Princeton Companion to Mathematics (both pure and applied are great)
Rudin - Principles of Mathematical Analysis (complex and functional after this... Tao is another option)
Polya - How to Solve it
Tao - Solving Mathematical Problems
Jaynes - Probability Theory
Pinter - A Book of Abstract Algebra
Russell - Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy

Add a good linear algebra book and that covers foundations. I could also recommend more specialized sources if you have a goal in mind or just want to reach a bit.

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fiby41
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Re: Book recommendations on the history of mathematics?

Post by fiby41 »

I would've said Springer series on history of mathematics but I'm biased because I've only opened books by 1 author from them.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Book recommendations on the history of mathematics?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

World of Mathematics-Newman
The Works of Henri Poincare
The Most Elegant Equation-Stipp
The Theory that Would Not Die-McGrayne
The Book of Numbers-Conway

AnalyticalEngine
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Re: Book recommendations on the history of mathematics?

Post by AnalyticalEngine »

Thanks for the good recommendations everyone. I'll check these books out!

simplex
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Re: Book recommendations on the history of mathematics?

Post by simplex »

On the lighter side I can recommend "Alex's Adventures in Numberland". It focuses on a few math problems, and does it in a quite entertaining way.

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