The History of Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780199599684

Jacqueline A. Stedall
144 Pages
115 x 173 mm
Pub date
Feb 2012
Very Short Introductions


To purchase this item, please add the product to your basket and click the Shopping basket link above to view your basket and continue.

Send mail
  • Uses a thematic development of ideas, to draw examples and identify themes from a wide variety of times and places
  • Examines how the definition of mathematics has changed through history, with eventual professionalization
  • Considers how the teaching and learning of mathematics has developed
  • Uses illustrative case studies including examples from early imperial China, the medieval Islamic world, and nineteenth-century Britain

Mathematics is a fundamental human activity that can be practised and understood in a multitude of ways; indeed, mathematical ideas themselves are far from being fixed, but are adapted and changed by their passage across periods and cultures. In this Very Short Introduction, Jacqueline Stedall explores the rich historical and cultural diversity of mathematical endeavour from the distant past to the present day. 
Arranged thematically, to exemplify the varied contexts in which people have learned, used, and handed on mathematics, she also includes illustrative case studies drawn from a range of times and places, including early imperial China, the medieval Islamic world, and nineteenth-century Britain.


1: Mathematics: myth and history
2: What is mathematics and who is a mathematician?
3: How are mathematical ideas disseminated?
4: Learning mathematics
5: Mathematical livelihoods
6: Getting inside mathematics
7: The evolving historiography of mathematics
Further reading

About the author: 

Jacqueline Stedall researched and taught history of mathematics at the University of Oxford. She wrote a number of books on Early Modern European mathematics and co-edited, with Eleanor Robson, The Oxford Handbook of the history of mathematics. She was a longstanding member of the British Society for the History of Mathematics and Editor of its Bulletin.

"Stimulating and accessible." - Mathematical Gazette

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.