Classical Mathematics

A Concise History of Mathematics in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
Joseph Ehrenfried Hofmann
ISBN 9781566490603 (paperback)
Published in November 2012
MSRP $14.95
"Descartes spoke of Fermat as a boastful Gascon. This opinion was taken up by the next generation of scientists whose skill in proof was inadequate as yet to render Fermat's results in number theory accessible to them. Thus, they erroneously regarded Fermat's achievements as the fruits of heuristic considerations, and consequently as accidental products without far-reaching significance." - from Concise Mathematics

Dividing the classical era into three main periods, high Baroque, late Baroque, and the Enlightenment, Joseph Hofmann describes the major trends and developments of each period. He introduces each important figure with a brief biographical sketch followed by a concise, insightful summary of methods, achievements, and the significance of each mathematician's work. This powerful history gives you a firm foundation in and a deeper understanding of: Descartes and the first modern system of mathematics; Fermat's achievements in the infinitesimal domain; Newton, Gregory and the discovery of the power series method; Leibniz and the invention of calculus; and the calculus feud between Newton and Leibniz.

Classical Mathematics combines a panoramic view of the development of enduring principles and concepts with an intriguing exploration of the personalities, calculations, and interactions that gave birth to these profound and timeless ideas.