Story of Mathematics
How the publisher describes it:
“Follows on from the success of books like Fermat's Last Theorem, The Code Book, Nature's Numbers Does for mathematics what Matthew Collings did for modern art Year 2000 has been designated World Mathematics Year by UNESCO”
Review by Geoff Dunn
“The way we live depends on mathematics”
What is mathematics? Why has it such an important place on the core curriculum? However you frame your answer I expect that you will have to refer to ‘one of humankind’s greatest achievements’. It is a story of cultural endeavour, a history of thinking, of human activity.
I found my personal answer became more articulate as I read this richly illustrated book. The text is remarkably accessible, many students in Key Stage 3 and 4 should enjoy it.
Richard Mankiewicz tells the story by considering cultures and civilizations and shows how mathematics has entered every area of human activity. Its study is not just for an elite of professors and professionals, it is for us all - a message for all teachers and young learners.
The way we live depends on mathematics. The mysterious tally sticks (the Ishango bone is more that a tally stick apparently) of pre-historic peoples, the maps used for trade, exploration and warfare; the fascination with the motions of heavenly bodies the study of the art and science of vision, the mathematics of which Leonardo struggled with, all indicate that mathematics is at the heart of history.
The book contains a wealth of images, richly illuminated medieval manuscripts, beautiful Babylonian clay tablets, and complex computer-generated fractals. The reproduction is lavish. A broad sweep of the past, from very early Chinese and Indian civilizations through to the great translators of medieval and renaissance Europe, to the scientific and digital revolutions.
The Story of Mathematics is a wonderful book. History, biography and popular science.
There is a simple website which promises to become more comprehensive, you can register for regular updates via e-mail, I expect many children will be interested. I’m registered and looking forward to my first update.
Geoff Dunn • Teacher in Cornwall
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (19 Oct 2000)
Product Dimensions: 22 x 19 x 2.4 cm