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Mathematics for the Nonmathematician (1967)

by Morris Kline

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634432,905 (3.91)7
Erudite and entertaining overview follows development of mathematics from ancient Greeks, through Middle Ages and Renaissance to the present. Chapters focus on logic and mathematics, the number, the fundamental concept, differential calculus, the theory of probability, and much more. Exercises and problems.… (more)
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Showing 4 of 4
This book was pretty good. It covers the history of mathematics and how it is made manifest in the liberal arts. It starts with the Babylonians and the Egyptians, goes to the Arabs and then the Western Europeans and so on. It has some problems in it that you can do, hence my calling it a Textbook. The problems aren't really serious or tough, and since it was written in the 1960s or something, it still has trigonometric tables, but not logarithms. I don't know why. Maybe because they figured you could get the answer yourself.

In any case, the math wasn't hard, and the history was interesting, but I had already read a book on the History of Mathematics so it wasn't really new to me. However, it was well done so it gets a 4 out of 5. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
Excellent book. Been rereading it for the past few days and researching more background on the internet this time. Although I can't remember all of it, I'm finding it easier to understand now that I'm more mature and have a few more advanced math classes under my belt.

Some wordiness could likely be trimmed and the proof explanations could be dumbed down just a bit more since it is for "nonmathematicians". For example, the concise introduction to Euclidean geometry is quite understandable, but I could see other nonmathematicians being puzzled by it. ( )
1 vote jcrben | May 18, 2014 |
An engaging discussion of many areas of mathematics for the mathematically interested, but not necessarily initiated reader. Many fun anecdotes, examples and applications. Also a great tool for teaching mathematics. ( )
2 vote yapete | Jun 2, 2008 |
An excellent book on the cultural and intellectual relevance of mathematics. It truly shows the beauty of mathematics via its proofs, system and also by locating it squarely within a human culture.

As a Christian, I was particularly inspired by his account of how the early mathematical physicists (Newton, Descartes, Kepler, etc) combined Christian tenents with greek philosophy to search for the Laws of Nature. With the christian faith that God created and designed the universe beautifully, and with greek rationalism in the beauty of mathematical order, the early physicist synthesize the two world-views to arrive at the conclusion that therefore the universe must have a mathematical order since the universe was made beautifully by a rational God and the mathematical order was the highest beauty. Therefore, their search for the Laws of Nature was grounded in the faith of God's design.

This was the book that inspired me to take up mathematics as my major, thus, four stars for its engaging style. ( )
2 vote rubati | Sep 26, 2007 |
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One can wisely doubt whether the study of mathematics is worth while and can find good authority to support him.
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Erudite and entertaining overview follows development of mathematics from ancient Greeks, through Middle Ages and Renaissance to the present. Chapters focus on logic and mathematics, the number, the fundamental concept, differential calculus, the theory of probability, and much more. Exercises and problems.

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