Pythagoras' Legacy: Mathematics in Ten Great Ideas

ISBN : 9780198852247

Marcel Danesi
192 Pages
161 x 233 mm
Pub date
Feb 2020
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As the famous Pythagorean statement reads, 'Number rules the universe', and its veracity is proven in the many mathematical discoveries that have accelerated the development of science, engineering, and even philosophy. A so called ", mathematics has guided and stimulated many aspects of human innovation down through the centuries.

In this book, Marcel Danesi presents a historical overview of the ten greatest achievements in mathematics, and dynamically explores their importance and effects on our daily lives. Considered as a chain of events rather than isolated incidents, Danesi takes us from the beginnings of modern day mathematics with Pythagoras, through the concept of zero, right the way up to modern computational algorithms.

Loaded with thought-provoking practical exercises and puzzles, Pythagoras' Legacy allows the reader to apply their knowledge and discover the significance of mathematics in their everyday lives.


1 The Pythagorean Theorem: The Birth of Mathematics

2 Prime Numbers: The DNA of Mathematics

3 Zero: Place-Holder and Peculiar Number

4 Pi: A Ubiquitous and Strange Number

5 Exponents: Notation and Discovery

6 e: A Very Special Number

7 i: Imaginary Numbers

8 Infinity: A Counterintuitive and Paradoxical Idea

9 Decidability: The Foundations of Mathematics

10 The Algorithm: Mathematics and Computers

About the author: 

Marcel Danesi is Full Professor of Linguistic Anthropology at the University of Toronto and a Co-Director of the Cognitive Science Network of the Fields Institute of Mathematical Research. He has published extensively in the field of mathematical cognition and in the theory of mathematical puzzles. He also writes a blog for Psychology Today that explore the nature of the puzzling mind.

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