"Dr. Morris Kline has succeeded brilliantly in explaining the nature of much that is basic in math, and how it is used in science." ― San Francisco ChronicleSince the major branches of mathematics grew and expanded in conjunction with science, the most effective way to appreciate and understand mathematics is in terms of the study of nature. Unfortunately, the relationship of mathematics to the study of nature is neglected in dry, technique-oriented textbooks, and it has remained for Professor Morris Kline to describe the simultaneous growth of mathematics and the physical sciences in this remarkable book. In a manner that reflects both erudition and enthusiasm, the author provides a stimulating account of the development of basic mathematics from arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, to calculus, differential equations, and the non-Euclidean geometries. At the same time, Dr. Kline shows how mathematics is used in optics, astronomy, motion under the law of gravitation, acoustics, electromagnetism, and other phenomena. Historical and biographical materials are also included, while mathematical notation has been kept to a minimum.
This is an excellent presentation of mathematical ideas from the time of the Greeks to the modern era. It will be of great interest to the mathematically inclined high school and college student, as well as to any reader who wants to understand ― perhaps for the first time ― the true greatness of mathematical achievements.
Based in part upon that work and also upon a number of articles by its authors, other members of the mathematics education community began to apply and expand upon their ideas. This collection of thirty readings is a testimony to the power of the ideas that originally appeared. In addition to reproducing relevant materials, the editors of this book of readings have included a considerable amount of interpretive text which places the articles in the context of problem solving. While the preponderance of essays focus upon mathematics and mathematics education, some of them point to the relevance of problem posing to other fields such as biology or psychology. In the interpretive text that accompanies each chapter, they indicate how ideas expressed for one audience may be revisited or transformed in order to ready them for a variety of audiences.
This substantially revised and expanded new edition contains several new sections, such as Wiles' proof of Fermat's Last Theorem, and relevant techniques coming from a synthesis of various theories. Moreover, the authors have added a part dedicated to arithmetical cohomology and noncommutative geometry, a report on point counts on varieties with many rational points, the recent polynomial time algorithm for primality testing, and some others subjects.
From the reviews of the 2nd edition:
"... For my part, I come to praise this fine volume. This book is a highly instructive read ... the quality, knowledge, and expertise of the authors shines through. ... The present volume is almost startlingly up-to-date ..." (A. van der Poorten, Gazette, Australian Math. Soc. 34 (1), 2007)
Progress from the first edition starts by characterizing the finite-field like P(seudo)A(lgebraically)C(losed) fields. We once believed PAC fields were rare. Now we know they include valuable Galois extensions of the rationals that present its absolute Galois group through known groups. PAC fields have projective absolute Galois group. Those that are Hilbertian are characterized by this group being pro-free. These last decade results are tools for studying fields by their relation to those with projective absolute group. There are still mysterious problems to guide a new generation: Is the solvable closure of the rationals PAC; and do projective Hilbertian fields have pro-free absolute Galois group (includes Shafarevich's conjecture)?
The third edition improves the second edition in two ways: First it removes many typos and mathematical inaccuracies that occur in the second edition (in particular in the references). Secondly, the third edition reports on five open problems (out of thirtyfour open problems of the second edition) that have been partially or fully solved since that edition appeared in 2005.