The Mathematics of the Heavens and the Earth: The Early History of Trigonometry

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Princeton University Press, Jan 1, 2009 - Mathematics - 329 pages
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"There does not seem to have been a book-length history of trigonometry in English before this fine book. Van Brummelen takes us from the unnamed Egyptians and Babylonians who created trigonometry to the subject's first few centuries in Europe. In between, he deftly traces how it was studied by the astronomers Hipparchus and Ptolemy in classical Greece, and later by a host of scholars in India and the Islamic world."--John H. Conway, coauthor of "The Book of Numbers"

"This book is the first detailed history of trigonometry in more than half a century, and it far surpasses any earlier attempts. "The Mathematics of the Heavens and the Earth" is an extremely important contribution to scholarship. It will be the definitive history of trigonometry for years to come. There is nothing like this out there."--Victor J. Katz, professor emeritus, University of the District of Columbia

"A pleasure to read. "The Mathematics of the Heavens and the Earth" is destined to become the standard reference on the history of trigonometry for the foreseeable future. Although other authors have attempted to tell the story, I know of no other book that has either the breadth or the depth of this one. Van Brummelen is one of the leading experts in the world on this subject."--Dennis Duke, Florida State University

"Van Brummelen presents a history of trigonometry from the earliest times to the end of the sixteenth century. He has produced a work that rises to the highest standards of scholarship but never strays into pedantry. His extensive bibliography cites every work of consequence for the history of trigonometry, copious footnotes and diagrams illuminate the text, and reproductions from old printed works add interest and texture to the narrative."--J. Lennart Berggren, professor emeritus, Simon Fraser University

"This book presents, for the first time in more than a century, a concise history of plane and spherical trigonometry, an important field within applied mathematics. It will appeal to a wide audience thanks to the pleasant style in which it is written, but at the same time it adheres to a very high scholarly standard."--Benno van Dalen, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich

  

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About the author (2009)

Glen Van Brummelen is professor of mathematics at Quest University Canada. He is the coeditor of "Mathematics and the Historian's Craft" and the coauthor of "Calculus Explorations Powered by Technology: Tales of History and Imagination".

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