Jacqueline Stedall

From the distant past to the present, this Very Short Introduction explores mathematical practice’s great historical diversity and cultural diversity. Mathematical concepts are far from being set in stone, as historian Jacqueline Stedall demonstrates; rather, they are modified and altered as they travel through different eras and cultures. The book uses fascinating case studies from a variety of historical periods and locations, such as early imperial China, the medieval Islamic world, and nineteenth-century Britain, to shed light on some of the diverse situations in which people have learned, used, and passed on mathematics. Stedall offers an introduction to both the history of mathematics as a modern academic discipline and to the mathematics of the past by highlighting some recurring themes.