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The Mathematical Career of Pierre de Fermat, 1601-1665 : Second Edition - Michael Mahoney

The Mathematical Career of Pierre de Fermat, 1601-1665

Second Edition

Paperback Published: 6th November 1994
ISBN: 9780691036663
Number Of Pages: 456

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Hailed as one of the greatest mathematical results of the twentieth century, the recent proof of Fermat's Last Theorem by Andrew Wiles brought to public attention the enigmatic problem-solver Pierre de Fermat, who centuries ago stated his famous conjecture in a margin of a book, writing that he did not have enough room to show his "truly marvelous demonstration." Along with formulating this proposition--xn+yn=zn has no rational solution for "n" > 2--Fermat, an inventor of analytic geometry, also laid the foundations of differential and integral calculus, established, together with Pascal, the conceptual guidelines of the theory of probability, and created modern number theory. In one of the first full-length investigations of Fermat's life and work, Michael Sean Mahoney provides rare insight into the mathematical genius of a hobbyist who never sought to publish his work, yet who ranked with his contemporaries Pascal and Descartes in shaping the course of modern mathematics.

Industry Reviews

"Mahoney's sensitive handling of the material, his sharp appreciation of conceptual and notational subtleties, and his willingness to detail or reconstruct proofs and procedures, now make possible an appreciation of the real power and variety of Fermat's invention."--Alan Gabbey, British Journal for the History of Science "A remarkably satisfying and cogent analysis."--Carl B. Boyer, Science

Preface (1994) ix
Introduction xi
Acknowledgments xvii
The Personal Touch 1
Mathematics in 1620
Fermat's Life and Career in Parlement
Motivation to Mathematics
Nullum Non Problema Solvere: Viete's Analytic Program and Its Influence on Fermat 26
Algebra, Analysis, and the Analytic Art
Following the ""Precepts of the Art""
Fermat's Style of Work and His Influence on His Contemporaries
The Royal Road 72
Fermat's Analytic Geometry, the Ad locos pianos
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691036663
ISBN-10: 0691036667
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 456
Published: 6th November 1994
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.44 x 15.57  x 2.82
Weight (kg): 0.61
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: Revised