Gifford, Clive

A Quick History of Math: From Counting Cavemen to Big Data

(3) 4-6 Illustrated by Michael Young. This witty history of math starts with ancient number systems and wends its way through notable developments and entertaining asides ("The Italian city of Florence...banned 1299. Other places feared algebra and thought of zero as black magic") to the present. Lighthearted "Schoolhouse Rock"–style cartoons show historical smart alecks cracking wise in dialogue bubbles, and the inclusive text celebrates Muslim, Chinese, Mayan, and Indian contributions. While some topics will probably be beyond the capabilities of the target audience, math geeks will go reciprocal over this appealing window into mathematical thought. Back matter includes a timeline, famous math mistakes, math puzzles (with answers), a glossary, and an index.


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