This book is something of a classic of the literature of the history of mathematics. It deals not with the men and women who made mathematics their life and work but with those significant figures who were primarily known for some other activity yet whose contributions to mathematics were of permanent value. With this lucid and hugely enjoyable survey, Professor Coolidge attempted to evaluate their mathematical discoveries in the light of what was known about their lives and circumstances. First published in 1949, it remains a valuable and highly scholarly introduction to these figures. Inevitably, modern scholarship has thrown new light on the subjects of this book. Rather than disrupt the overall flow of the book which is produced here unchanged, Professor Jeremy Gray has provided a short biographical note about Professor Coolidge and an introductory essay which discusses where new historical and mathematical material is now available. Thus, Professor Gray is able to describe both the strengths and flaws of this account and to discuss the new ways in which the history of mathematics is being re-evaluated.
'a valuable and scholarly introduction'
Extrait de L'Enseignement Mathématique, t.36, fasc.1-2, 1990
'This delightful book is... a model of clarity and ... a joy to read' SIAM Review
'the reader will find a good deal here ... The Mathematics of Great Amateurs has stood the test of time to become an essential reference on the shelf of every working historian of mathematics. It remains a delightful "read" for the general mathematician with even a passing interest in the development of the subject.'
David M. Burton, University of New Hampshire, The Mathematical Intelligencer, Vol. 14, No. 3, 1992
Preface; Biographical note; Introduction; Plato; Omar Khayyam; Pietro dei Franceschi; Leonardo da Vinci; Albrecht Durer; John Napier, Baron of Merchiston; Blaise Pascal; Antoine Arnauld; Jan de Witt; Johann Heinrich Hudde; William, Viscount Brouncker; Guillaume L'Hospital, Marquis de Sainte-Mesme; Buffon; Denis Diderot; William George Horner; Bernhard Bolzano; Index.
Series: Oxford Science Publications
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 22nd February 1990
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.44 x 15.65
Weight (kg): 0.4
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: Revised