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Mathematics Elsewhere
Author: Marcia Ascher

ISBN: 9780691120225
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 224
Published: 3 October 2004
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.2
Description:


"Mathematics Elsewhere" is a fascinating and important contribution to a global view of mathematics. Presenting mathematical ideas of peoples from a variety of small-scale and traditional cultures, it humanizes our view of mathematics and expands our conception of what is mathematical.

Through engaging examples of how particular societies structure time, reach decisions about the future, make models and maps, systematize relationships, and create intriguing figures, Marcia Ascher demonstrates that traditional cultures have mathematical ideas that are far more substantial and sophisticated than is generally acknowledged. Malagasy divination rituals, for example, rely on complex algebraic algorithms. And some cultures use calendars far more abstract and elegant than our own. Ascher also shows that certain concepts assumed to be universal--that time is a single progression, for instance, or that equality is a static relationship--are not. The Basque notion of equivalence, for example, is a dynamic and temporal one not adequately captured by the familiar equal sign. Other ideas taken to be the exclusive province of professionally trained Western math...

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