Download e-book for iPad: A Mathematician’s Journeys: Otto Neugebauer and Modern by Alexander Jones, Christine Proust, John M. Steele

By Alexander Jones, Christine Proust, John M. Steele

ISBN-10: 331925863X

ISBN-13: 9783319258638

ISBN-10: 3319258656

ISBN-13: 9783319258652

This ebook explores elements of Otto Neugebauer's occupation, his influence at the heritage and perform of arithmetic, and the ways that his legacy has been preserved or reworked in fresh a long time, expecting the instructions within which the learn of the background of technological know-how will head within the twenty-first century. Neugebauer, greater than the other pupil of modern occasions, formed the way in which we understand premodern technology. via his scholarship and impression on scholars and collaborators, he inculcated either an method of old learn on historic and medieval arithmetic and astronomy via detailed mathematical and philological examine of texts, and a imaginative and prescient of those sciences as platforms of information and approach that unfold outward from the traditional close to jap civilizations, crossing cultural barriers and circulating over an incredible geographical expanse of the previous global from the Atlantic to India.

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Extra resources for A Mathematician’s Journeys: Otto Neugebauer and Modern Transformations of Ancient Science

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During the winter semester of 1922–23, Neugebauer attended his course on this subject along with another on entire transcendental functions. Many found it hard to take notes in Landau’s lectures, and not only because of the intrinsic difficulties of the mathematics. He spoke quickly and wrote even faster; it was what people in Göttingen called the “Landau style”: lean, precise, formal, and at times pedantic—theorem, lemma, proof, corollary. Dirk Struik, who attended one of his courses a few years later, recalled how Landau sometimes offered teasers to his audience: “Occasionally he would present a wellknown theorem in the usual way, and then while we sat there wondering what it was all about, he pontificated: ‘But it is false—ist aber falsch’—and, indeed, there would be some kind of flaw in the conventional formulation” (Rowe 1989, 20).

This fascination actually began with J. J. Sylvester, who called attention to the mysteries of unit fractions soon after publication of the Rhind papyrus. 34 Neugebauer ended his tribute to Courant on his 75th birthday with some moving remarks about how he had made it possible for him to pursue his chosen career (Neugebauer 1963, 9). 33 From Graz to Göttingen: Neugebauer’s Early Intellectual Journey 31 Klein, with its impressive collection of books and off-prints. He also looked after the magnificent collection of mathematical models that lined the corridors.

The single most famous volume in the yellow series, his Courant-Hilbert, Mathematische Methoden der Physik, attests to a vision that went far beyond the legacies of his teachers. In the preface to the first edition, Courant decried the tendency among analysts to focus undue attention on “refining their methods and finalizing their concepts” at the cost of forgetting that analysis has its roots in physical problems. At the same time, he emphasized that theoretical physicists had begun to lose touch with the mathematical techniques most relevant to their own research.

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A Mathematician’s Journeys: Otto Neugebauer and Modern Transformations of Ancient Science by Alexander Jones, Christine Proust, John M. Steele


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