MATH 3560 - History of Mathematics
MATH 3560: History of Mathematics (UNSW). Taught by Professor N. J. Wildberger, this course provides an overview of the history of mathematics, in 17 lectures; meant for a broad audience, not necessarily mathematics majors. Starting with Greek mathematics, Professor N. J. Wildberger discusses Hindu, Chinese and Arabic influences on algebra; the development of coordinate geometry, calculus and mechanics; the course of geometry from projective to non-Euclidean in the 19th century; complex numbers and algebra; differential geometry; and topology. This course roughly follows John Stillwell's book 'Mathematics and its History' (Springer, 3rd ed).
|Lecture 07b - Analytic Geometry and the Continuum (cont.)
The development of Cartesian geometry by Descartes and Fermat was one of the main accomplishments of the 17th century, giving a computational approach to Euclidean geometry. Involved are conics, cubics, Bezout's theorem, and the beginnings of a projective view to curves. This merging of numbers and geometry is discussed in terms of the ancient Greeks, and some problems with our understanding of the continuum are observed; namely with irrational numbers and decimal expansions. We also discuss pi and its continued fraction approximations.
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