The Story of Proof: Logic and the History of Mathematics

John Stillwell

Discover the fascinating world of mathematical proof in this beautifully written book, The Story of Proof, by Stillwell. From the origins of proof to its application in different branches of mathematics, this book provides a comprehensive journey through the history and concepts of proof.

As a math teacher, I often struggle to explain the concept of mathematical proof to my students. The Story of Proof not only tackles this challenge head-on but also delves into the significance of definitions, theorems, and axiomatic systems. It breaks down complex topics like geometry and algebra, making them accessible to curious and patient readers.

One of the highlights of this book is its historical perspective. It explores how proofs evolved over time, highlighting the holes in early proofs and how they were eventually filled. This gives readers a profound understanding of the subtleties and intricacies of mathematical concepts.

In addition to history, The Story of Proof also discusses the role of logic, computation, and abstraction in the world of proof. It covers topics like set theory and propositional logic, providing a comprehensive view of the different tools and methods used in proof.

Each chapter focuses on a different mathematical topic, including calculus, topology, and algebraic number theory, showcasing the various approaches to proof in each area. While this approach is effective, a separate chapter emphasizing the differences between these approaches could have been insightful.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed The Story of Proof and gained a wealth of knowledge from it. Whether you’re an undergraduate student, an amateur mathematician, or a math teacher looking for classroom resources, this book is a valuable addition to your collection. Dive into the world of mathematical proof and expand your understanding of this fundamental aspect of mathematics.