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The aim of this book is to provide a complete history of pi from the dawn of mathematical time to the present. The story of pi reflects the most seminal, the most serious and sometimes the silliest aspects of mathematics, and a suprising amount of the most important mathematics and mathematicians have contributed to its unfolding. Pi is one of the few...
The aim of this book is to provide a complete history of pi from the dawn of mathematical time to the present. The story of pi reflects the most seminal, the most serious and sometimes the silliest aspects of mathematics, and a suprising amount of the most important mathematics and mathematicians have contributed to its unfolding. Pi is one of the few concepts in mathematics whose mention evokes a response of recognition and interest in those not concerned professionally with the subject. Yet, despite this, no source book on pi has been published. One of the beauties of the literature on pi is that it allows for the inclusion of very modern, yet still accessible, mathematics. Mathematicians and historians of mathematics will find this book indespensable. Teachers at every level from the seventh grade onward will find here ample resources for anything from special topic courses to individual talks and special student projects. The literature on pi included in this source book falls into three classes: first a selection of the mathematical literature of four millennia, second a variety of historial studies or writings on the cultural meaning and significance of the number, and third, a number of treatments on pi that are fanciful, satirical and/or whimsical. In addition to correcting a few minor infelicities, this new edition includes an Appendix in which articles 9 and 12 by Viete and Huygens respectively are translated into English.
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