The History of Mathematics
Galileo is often quoted as saying that “nature is written in that book which is ever before our eyes – I mean the universe – but we cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language in which it is written. The book is written in mathematical language … without which one wanders in vain through a dark labyrinth.”
So how and where did mathematics begin? Who were the great mathematicians? What were their lives, their work, and their rivalries like? This course will explore these questions. There are no mathematical prerequisites.
Professor Simon received his Ph.D. in Mathematics at Tulane University in 1957. He taught at Yale and Northwestern before coming to California State University, Hayward in 1972; he became Professor Emeritus in 1991. He has written many reports, reviews, and articles in mathematical journals and several textbooks on algebra and calculus. He was twice the recipient of National Science Awards for independent study: at the Sorbonne in 1963-64 and at UC Santa Cruz in 1970-71. He has also received numerous awards and honors for his excellence in teaching.