The book is, in spite of the author's more modest claims, an introductory survey of main developments in those disciplines which were particularly important in Medieval Islamic mathematics...No knowledge of mathematics (or of the history of mathematics) beyond normal high-school level is presupposed, and everything required beyond that (be it Apollonian theory of conics or the definitions of celestial circles) is explained carefully and clearly. Scattered throughout the work are a number of lucid remarks on the character of Islamic mathematics or of mathematical work in general. The book will hence not only be an excellent textbook for the teaching of the history of mathematics but also for the liberal art aspect of mathematics teaching in general.
- Jens Høyrup, Mathematical Reviews
...as a textbook, this work is highly commendable...It is definitely the product of a skillful mathematician who has collected over the years a reasonably large number of interesting problems from medieval Arabic mathematics. None of them is pursued to exhaustion, but all of them arranged in such a way, together with accompanying exercises, so that they would engage an active mind and introduce a subject, which I am sure the author agrees with me is, at this stage, very difficult to introduce.
- G.Saliba, Zentralblatt
For this new edition, the authors have updated the original material while adding new material of historical and cultural interest. There is a substantial exposition of the recent history of the computation of digits of pi, a discussion of the normality of the distribution of the digits, new translations of works by Viete and Huygen, as well as Kaplansky's never-before-published "Song of Pi."
From the reviews of earlier editions:
"Few mathematics books serve a wider potential readership than does a source book and this particular one is admirably designed to cater for a broad spectrum of tastes: professional mathematicians with research interest in related subjects, historians of mathematics, teachers at all levels searching out material for individual talks and student projects, and amateurs who will find much to amuse and inform them in this leafy tome. The authors are to be congratulated on their good taste in preparing such a rich and varied banquet with which to celebrate pi."
- Roger Webster for the Bulletin of the LMS
"The judicious representative selection makes this a useful addition to one's library as a reference book, an enjoyable survey of developments and a source of elegant and deep mathematics of different eras."
- Ed Barbeau for MathSciNet
"Full of useful formulas and ideas, it is a vast source of inspiration to any mathematician, A level and upwards-a necessity in any maths library."
- New Scientist