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Origins of Mathematical Words: A Comprehensive Dictionary of Latin, Greek, and Arabic Roots

by Anthony Lo Bello Johns Hopkins University Press
Pub Date:
12/2013
ISBN:
9781421410982
Format:
Pbk 368 pages
Price:
AU$104.00 NZ$106.96
Product Status: Title is Print on Demand - May take 4 weeks
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Do you ever wonder about the origins of mathematical terms such as ergodic, biholomorphic, and strophoid? Here Anthony Lo Bello explains the roots of these and better-known words like asymmetric, gradient, and average. He provides Greek, Latin, and Arabic text in its original form to enhance each explanation. This sophisticated, one-of-a-kind reference for mathematicians and word lovers is based on decades of the author's painstaking research and work. Origins of Mathematical Words supplies definitions for words such as conchoids (a shell-shaped curve derived from the Greek noun for 'mussel') and zenith (Arabic for 'way overhead'), as well as approximation (from the Latin proximus, meaning 'nearest'). These and hundreds of other terms wait to be discovered within the pages of this mathematical and etymological treasure chest.

Preface
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"In addition to mathematical explanation, [Origins of Mathematical Words ] gives insight into the thinking of ancient mathematicians and hints and the winding paths of knowledge over the past two millennia. While aspects of this history are available in, say, The Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the account here is more complete, more compelling, and geared to a mathematical reader... Origins of Mathematical Words is an engaging book that would be useful on any mathematician's shelf."

Anthony Lo Bello is a professor of mathematics at Allegheny College and author of four volumes about Euclid's elements of geometry in the Middle Ages.