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Encyclopedia of Mathematics by James Stuart Tanton, ISBN-13: 978-0816051243

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Encyclopedia of Mathematics by James Stuart Tanton, ISBN-13: 978-0816051243

[PDF eBook eTextbook]

  • Publisher: ‎ Facts on File (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: ‎ English
  • 568 pages
  • ISBN-10: ‎ 0816051240
  • ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0816051243

Encyclopedia of Mathematics is a comprehensive one-volume encyclopedia designed for high school through early college students. More than 1,000 entries, more than 125 photographs and illustrations, and numerous essays cover the principal areas and issues that characterize this “new” area of science. This valuable resource unites disparate ideas and provides the meaning, history, context, and relevance behind each one. The easy-to-use format makes finding straightforward and natural answers to questions within arithmetic – such as algebra, trigonometry, geometry, probability, combinatorics, numbers, logic, calculus, and statistics – simple. Encyclopedia of Mathematics also gives historical context to mathematical concepts, with entries discussing ancient Arabic, Babylonian, Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Hindu, and Mayan mathematics, as well as entries providing biographical descriptions of important people in the development of mathematics.

Researcher, author, and educator Tanton has compiled this encyclopedia to share his enthusiasm for thinking about and doing mathematics. More than 800 alphabetically arranged entries present a wide variety of mathematical definitions, theorems, historical figures, formulas, examples, charts, and pictures. Many cross-references serve to connect concepts or extend a concept further. A mathematical time line listing major accomplishments is available following the entries, along with a list of current mathematics organizations. The bibliography contains print and Web resources, and the index is helpful in locating terms and concepts.

Each entry varies in length depending on the term, concept, or person being described. Six longer essays describe the history of the branches of mathematics. The writing style is straightforward and readable and sometimes contains parenthetical notes that add background or context. If an entry contains a word or words in capital letters, that term or person is also an entry in the encyclopedia.

This source would be useful in a high-school library, public library, and academic library as a basic resource for students who wish to have a better understanding of simple or not-so–simple mathematical concepts. It is hoped that the author is rewarded in his goal of encouraging mathematics students to go beyond rote memorization of mathematical steps or skills. This encyclopedia will certainly assist them toward that goal.

James Stuart Tanton is the founding director of the St. Mark’s Institute of Mathematics.

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