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An Introduction to the History of Algebra: Solving Equations from Mesopotamian Times to the Renaissance
Jacques Sesiano, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland
Translated by Anna Pierrehumbert

Mathematical World
2009; 174 pp; softcover
Volume: 27
ISBN-10: 0-8218-4473-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8218-4473-1
List Price: US$37
Member Price: US$29.60
Order Code: MAWRLD/27
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Algebra in Ancient and Modern Times - V S Varadarajan

... a basic introduction to the types of problems that illustrate the earliest forms of algebra. It would be particularly useful for an instructor who is looking for examples to help enliven a course on elementary algebra with problems drawn from actual historical texts.

--Warren Van Egmond about the French edition for MathSciNet

This book does not aim to give an exhaustive survey of the history of algebra up to early modern times but merely to present some significant steps in solving equations and, wherever applicable, to link these developments to the extension of the number system. Various examples of problems, with their typical solution methods, are analyzed, and sometimes translated completely. Indeed, it is another aim of this book to ease the reader's access to modern editions of old mathematical texts, or even to the original texts; to this end, some of the problems discussed in the text have been reproduced in the appendices in their original language (Greek, Latin, Arabic, Hebrew, French, German, Provençal, and Italian) with explicative notes.


Undergraduate students, graduate students, and research mathematicians interested in the history of mathematics.


"Highly Recommended."

-- CHOICE Magazine

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