History of Mathematics

The history of mathematics is nearly as old as humanity itself. Since antiquity, mathematics has been fundamental to advances in science, engineering, and philosophy. It has evolved from simple counting, measurement and calculation, and the systematic study of the shapes and motions of physical objects, through the application of abstraction, imagination and logic, to the broad, complex and often abstract discipline we know today.

From the notched bones of early man to the mathematical advances brought about by settled agriculture in Mesopotamia and Egypt and the revolutionary developments of ancient Greece and its Hellenistic empire, the story of mathematics is a long and impressive one.

The East carried on the baton, particularly China, India and the medieval Islamic empire, before the focus of mathematical innovation moved back to Europe in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. Then, a whole new series of revolutionary developments occurred in 17th Century and 18th Century Europe, setting the stage for the increasing complexity and abstraction of 19th Century mathematics, and finally the audacious and sometimes devastating discoveries of the 20th Century.

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