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History of mathematics


This course will provide a general overview of the history of mathematics. We will study the mathematics of the ancient Babylonians, Egyptians, and Greeks, as well as Medieval Islamic mathematics. We will also focus on the mathematics of 16th, 17th, and 18th century Europe. We will study the lives and works of Euclid, Apollonius, Descartes, Galileo, Stevin, Huygens, Newton, Leibniz, Euler, and the Bernoullis, among others. We will read original sources (in translation) where possible.

Analyse 1 en 2
Regular homework assignments, with a final paper and presentation (in English).
Required reading
1 : D.J. Struik, Geschiedenis van de wiskunde (Het Spectrum, ook gratis on-line, zie hieronder) or A Concise History of mathematics (Dover)
2 : W. Dunham, Journey Through Genius (Penguin)
3 : R. Descartes, The Geometry of René Descartes (Dover, or available free online in both French and English, see below)
4 : There may be some handouts given in class, for a small fee.

D. Struik, Geschiedenis van de wiskunde
R. Descartes: La Géometrie
Course website