The purpose of this book,
is to acquaint the student with mathematical language and mathematical life by
means of a number of historically important mathematical vignettes. This book
will also serve to help the prospective school teacher to become inured in some
of the important ideas of mathematics—both classical and modern.
Leonard Conant was an American mathematician specializing in trigonometry. The
title of this work might lead the reader to suppose that it is principally
mathematical, but the treatment adopted by the anthropological. It is a study
of the evolution of the idea of number in primitive conditions and the
survivals of early forms in later stages of culture.
This course note is designed to
provide the historical background to some of the mathematics familiar to
students from A-level and the first four terms of undergraduate study, and looks
at a period from approximately the mid-sixteenth century to the end of the