samskivert: Unknown Quantity (3)

16 November 2007

A gripping history of algebra from cuneiform accounting through to “motivic cohomology” and other polysyllabic turns of phrase that make words like polynomial seem downright plain. Derbyshire skimps neither on narrative nor mathematics and maintains a nicely readable balance from the dawn of civilization straight through to the 20th century. It helps that math has been peopled with some peculiar characters across the centuries.

©1999–2022 Michael Bayne