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# ABriefHistoryofMathematics

ABriefHistoryofMathematics

What is mathematics?
What do mathematicians do?

ABriefHistoryofMathematics

What is mathematics?
What do mathematicians do?
http://www.sfu.ca/~rpyke/presentations.html

ABriefHistoryofMathematics
Egypt;3000B.C.

Positionalnumbersystem,base10
Complicatedformalism;limitedalgebra.
Onlyperfectsquares(noirrationalnumbers).
Areaofcircle;(8D/9) =3.1605.Volumeofpyramid.

ABriefHistoryofMathematics

Babylon;1700300B.C.
Positionalnumbersystem(base60;sexagesimal)
Solvedsystemsofequationswithmanyunknowns
Nonegativenumbers.Nogeometry.
Squares,cubes,squareroots,cuberoots
Uses:Building,planning,selling,astronomy(later)

ABriefHistoryofMathematics
Greece;600B.C. 600A.D.Papyruscreated!
Pythagoras;mathematicsasabstractconcepts,
propertiesofnumbers,irrationalityof2,
PythagoreanTheorema+b=c,geometricareas
Constructionswithrulerandcompass;Squaring
thecircle,Doublingthecube,Trisectingthe
angle
Plato;planeandsolidgeometry

ABriefHistoryofMathematics

Greece;600B.C. 600A.D.

Aristotle;mathematicsandthephysicalworld(astronomy,geography,
mechanics),mathematicalformalism(definitions,axioms,proofsvia
construction)
Euclid;Elements 13books.Geometry,algebra,theoryofnumbers
(primeandcompositenumbers,irrationals),methodofexhaustion
(calculus!),EuclidsAlgorithmforfindinggreatestcommondivisor,proof
Apollonius;conicsections
Archimedes;surfaceareaandvolume,centreofgravity,hydrostatics
HipparchusandPtolemy;Trigonometry(circlehas360,sin,cos,tan;
sin+cos=1),theAlmagest (astronomy;sphericaltrigonometry).
Diophantus;introductionofsymbolisminalgebra,solvespolynomial
equations

Somemathematicalfactsknowntothe
ancientGreeks

(primeP:onlyfactorsofPare1andP)

Somemathematicalfactsknowntothe
ancientGreeks

(primeP:onlyfactorsofPare1andP)

Supposenot.Sothereisalargestprime;P.
LetM=2357111317P(productofallprimes)
NotethatnoneoftheseprimescandivideM+1
(remainderis1).
ButM+1=qqqqn,productofprimes,by
theFundamentalTheoremofArithmetic.Whatare
theseprimesq?Sotheremustbemoreprimesthanthe
onesfactoringM.

Somemathematicalfactsknowntothe
ancientGreeks

2isnotarationalnumber:

Somemathematicalfactsknowntothe
ancientGreeks

2isnotarationalnumber:
Supposeitwasrational;then2=a/b,a&bintegers.
Wecanassumethataandbhavenocommonfactors.

Somemathematicalfactsknowntothe
ancientGreeks

2isnotarationalnumber:
Supposeitwasrational;then2=a/b,a&bintegers.
Wecanassumethataandbhavenocommonfactors.
Then2=a/bandsoa=2b

Somemathematicalfactsknowntothe
ancientGreeks

2isnotarationalnumber:
Supposeitwasrational;then2=a/b,a&bintegers.
Wecanassumethataandbhavenocommonfactors.
Then2=a/bandsoa=2b
Henceaisaneveninteger.Butacannotbeanodd
integer(becauseoddoddisanoddinteger)andsoit
mustbeaneveninteger;a=2k

Somemathematicalfactsknowntothe
ancientGreeks

2isnotarationalnumber:
Supposeitwasrational;then2=a/b,a&bintegers.
Wecanassumethataandbhavenocommonfactors.
Then2=a/bandsoa=2b
Henceaisaneveninteger.Butacannotbeanodd
integer(becauseoddoddisanoddinteger)andsoit
mustbeaneveninteger;a=2k
Andso(2k)=2b 2k=b bisalsoeven!
nocommonfactors.

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Solvingpolynomialequations(rootsofequations)

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Solvingpolynomialequations(rootsofequations)
Linear;ax+b=0 x=b/a(a0)

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Solvingpolynomialequations(rootsofequations)

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Solvingpolynomialequations(rootsofequations)
generalcase;ax+bx +c=0;
completethesquare;

Knownsinceancienttimes

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Solvingotherpolynomialequations
Cubic;x+bx+cx+d=0
Quartic;x+ax+bx+cx+d=0
Generalsolutionsdiscoveredaround1550;
aformula thatgivesyouthesolutions
intermsofa,b,c,dandworksforallsuch
polynomialsusingonlyroots

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Solvingpolynomialequations
Quintic;x+ax+bx+cx+dx+e=0

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Solvingpolynomialequations
Quintic;x+ax+bx+cx+dx+e=0
Isthereaformula,withonlya,b,c,d,e init,that
givesyouthesolutions(roots)usingonlysquare
roots,cuberoots,fourthandfifthroots?

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Solvingpolynomialequations
Quintic;x+ax+bx+cx+dx+e=0
Manytries.Suspectednotpossiblein1700s.

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Solvingpolynomialequations
Quintic;x+ax+bx+cx+dx+e=0
Manytries.Suspectednotpossiblein1700s.
Liouvilleannouncessomereasonswhy;1843.

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Solvingpolynomialequations
Quintic;x+ax+bx+cx+dx+e=0
Manytries.Suspectednotpossiblein1700s.
Liouvilleannouncessomereasonswhy;1843.
Galois solvesproblemaroundsametime
ushersinnewideasintoalgebra;GaloisTheory
Nowweknowwhy forquintic(andhigher)
polynomialsthereisnoformula fortherootsand
thatworksforall polynomials

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Thedevelopmentofcalculus (1600s)

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Thedevelopmentofcalculus (1600s)
Motivatedby4problems;
1.
2.
3.
4.

Instantaneousvelocityofacceleratingobject
Slopeofacurve(slopeoftangentline)
Maximumandminimumoffunctions
Lengthof(nonstraight)curves(e.g.,circumferenceof
anellipse?

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Thedevelopmentofcalculus (1600s)
Motivatedby4problems;
1.
2.
3.
4.

Instantaneousvelocityofacceleratingobject
Slopeofacurve(slopeoftangentline)
Maximumandminimumoffunctions
Lengthof(nonstraight)curves(e.g.,circumferenceof
anellipse?)

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Thedevelopmentofcalculus 1600s
Usingcalculus,Newtonexplained(inthePrincipia);
whytidesoccur
whytheshapesofplanetaryorbitsareconic
sections(ellipses,parabolas,andhyperbolas)
Keplers3Lawsofplanetarymotion
shapeofarotatingbodyoffluid
etc,etc,etc

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Thedevelopmentofcalculus 1600s
Usingcalculus,Newtonexplained(inthePrincipia);
whytidesoccur
whytheshapesofplanetaryorbitsareconic
sections(ellipses,parabolas,andhyperbolas)
Keplers3Lawsofplanetarymotion
shapeofarotatingbodyoffluid
etc,etc,etcandthen..

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Thedevelopmentofcalculus 1600s
ThediscoveryofNeptuneonpaper!(1846)
(CelestialMechanics)
(Uranusaccidentallydiscoveredbytelescope;
WilliamHerschel1781)

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Thenotionofinfinity 20th Century

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Thenotionofinfinity 20th Century

Aleph
Georg Cantor; mathematician 1845 - 1918

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Thenotionofinfinity 20th Century

Howmanyintegersarethere?
={1,2,3,.}Theusualinfinityisthewhole
setofnatural numbers(countingnumbers).

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Thenotionofinfinity 20th Century

Howmanyintegersarethere?
={1,2,3,.}Theusualinfinityisthewhole
setofnatural numbers(countingnumbers).
Remarkably,thisisthesamesizeasall theintegers
(positiveandnegative),andthesamesizeasall
therationalnumbers!

Howdowecount?

Howdowecount?
Bylabelingtheobjectswithcounting
numbers!

Howdowecount?
apples

Howdowecount?
natural
numbers
1 2
3
4 5
6
7 8 9
10
12 1911
15
14
13
16
17
18 19

apples

Howdowecount?
natural
numbers
1 2
3
4 5
6
7 8 9
10
12 1911
15
14
13
16
17
18 19

apples

Howdowecount?
natural
numbers
1 2
3
4 5
6
7 8 9
10
12 1911
15
14
13
16
17
18 19

apples

1
2

Howdowecount?
natural
numbers
1 2
3
4 5
6
7 8 9
10
12 1911
15
14
13
16
17
18 19

apples

1
2
3

Howdowecount?
natural
numbers
1 2
3
4 5
6
7 8 9
10
12 1911
15
14
13
16
17
18 19

apples

1
2

8
7

3 6
5
4

Howdowecount?
natural
numbers
1 2
3
4 5
6
7 8 9
10
12 1911
15
14
13
16
17
18 19

apples

1
2

8
7

3 6
5
4

9 apples

Setofintegers:={...3,2,1,0,1,2,3,...}
Thereare(only)manyintegers;

Setofintegers:={...3,2,1,0,1,2,3,...}
Thereare(only)manyintegers;
Counting numbers (natural numbers);

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 . . . .

Integers;

. . . -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 . . .

Setofintegers:={...3,2,1,0,1,2,3,...}
Thereare(only)manyintegers;

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 . . . .

. . . -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 . . .

Setofintegers:={...3,2,1,0,1,2,3,...}
Thereare(only)manyintegers;

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 . . . .

. . . -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 . . .

Setofintegers:={...3,2,1,0,1,2,3,...}
Thereare(only)manyintegers;

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 . . . .

. . . -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 . . .

Setofintegers:={...3,2,1,0,1,2,3,...}
Thereare(only)manyintegers;

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 . . . .

. . . -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 . . .

Setofintegers:={...3,2,1,0,1,2,3,...}
Thereare(only)manyintegers;

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 . . . .

. . . -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 . . .

Setofintegers:={...3,2,1,0,1,2,3,...}
Thereare(only)manyintegers;

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 . . . .

. . . -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 . . .

Setofintegers:={...3,2,1,0,1,2,3,...}
Thereare(only)manyintegers;

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 . . . .

. . . -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 . . .

Setofintegers:={...3,2,1,0,1,2,3,...}
Thereare(only)manyintegers;

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 . . . .

. . . -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 . . .
We can count all the integers this way!

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Thenotionofinfinity 20th Century
Algebrawithinfinity;

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Thenotionofinfinity 20th Century
Algebrawithinfinity;
+1=,+100=,etc
=
=

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Thenotionofinfinity 20th Century
Algebrawithinfinity;
+1=,+100=,etc
=
=

Isthereanythingbiggerthan?

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Thenotionofinfinity 20th Century
Thereare(only)manyrationalnumbers...

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Thenotionofinfinity 20th Century
Thereare(only)manyrationalnumbers...
Isthereanythinglarger?

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Thenotionofinfinity 20th Century
Thereare(only)manyrationalnumbers...
Isthereanythinglarger?
Decimal representation of a number in [0, 1];
0. d d d d d d d d d

each d is 0,1,2,8, or 9

## e.g., 0.2154960012.. Here, d=2, d=1, d=5, etc.

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Thenotionofinfinity 20th Century
Howmanyrealnumbersarethere??Letscount;
10.ddddddddd
20.ddddddddd
30.ddddddddd

## (decimal representation of numbers in [0, 1])

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Thenotionofinfinity 20th Century
10.ddddddddd
20.ddddddddd
30.ddddddddd

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Thenotionofinfinity 20th Century
10.ddddddddd
20.ddddddddd
30.ddddddddd

Heresanumber;
x=0.xxxxxxxxxwhere
xd,xd,xd,xd,xd,

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Thenotionofinfinity 20th Century
10.ddddddddd
20.ddddddddd
30.ddddddddd

Heresanumber;
x=0.xxxxxxxxxwhere
xd,xd,xd,xd,xd,
Check:Thisxisnotinourlistabove!!

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
10.ddddddddd
20.ddddddddd
30.ddddddddd

x=0.xxxxxxxxxwhere
xd,xd,xd,xd,xd,(notetherearemany
suchchoicesforx)

xisnotinourlist!!
Sotherearemorerealnumbersthan

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
10.ddddddddd
20.ddddddddd
30.ddddddddd

x=0.xxxxxxxxxwhere
xd,xd,xd,xd,xd,(notetherearemany
suchchoicesforx)

xisnotinourlist!!
Sotherearemorerealnumbersthan
Howmanyrealnumbersarethere?....

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Thenotionofinfinity 20th Century
TheContinuumHypothesis(1900);
Thesizeoftherealnumbersisthenextinfinity
after;

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Thenotionofinfinity 20th Century
TheContinuumHypothesis(1900);
Thesizeoftherealnumbersisthenextinfinity
after;
Proof?

Afewimportantproblemsinthe
developmentofmathematics
Thenotionofinfinity 20th Century
TheContinuumHypothesis(1900);
Thesizeoftherealnumbersisthenextinfinity
after;
Proof?Infact,thisstatementcannotbeprovedtobe
truenorcanitbeprovedtobefalse!(1963)In
otherwords,assumingitistrueorassumingitis
falsewillnotgetyouintotrouble~(SeeGdels
IncompletenessTheorem,1931)

Someimportantquestionsinmodern
mathematics
Howwellcananirrationalnumberbe
approximatedbyrationalnumbers?
(therearedifferenttypesofirrationalnumbers)
Howclosetoanirrationalnumbercanyougetusing
onlyrationalnumberswhosedenominatorsareno
largerthanb?(a/b typerationalnumbers)

Someimportantquestionsinmodern
mathematics
Caneveryrotationbeobtainedbyrotating
around(only)thex,yandzaxes?

Someimportantquestionsinmodern
mathematics
Isthesolarsystemstable?Willtheplanets
continuetoorbitthesuninregularpatterns
foreverorwilltheysomedaycollide?

Somequestionsinindustrywhere
mathematicsisused

Somequestionsinindustrywhere
mathematicsisused
Vehicleemission(pollutioncontrol)
HowtoallocateIntensiveCarebedsatahospitalto
minimizepatientwaitingtimes?
reducinggreenhousegasses?
Decidingthebest(government)policyfor
encouragingsolarpowerdevelopment
WhyarethetidesattheBayofFundysolarge?
(16m)resonance..

Areasofmodernmathematics

Algebra
Analysis(akacalculus)
Topology
MathematicalLogic
Numericalanalysis(usingcomputers)
Discretemathematics
http://www.sfu.ca/~rpyke/presentations.html