Heavenly Mathematics by Glen Van Brummelen

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See Reader Rating


Spherical trigonometry was at the heart of astronomy and ocean-going navigation for two millennia. The discipline was a mainstay of mathematics education for centuries, and it was a standard subject in high schools until the 1950s. Today, however, it is rarely taught. Heavenly Mathematics traces the rich history of this forgotten art, revealing how the cultures of classical Greece, medieval Islam, and the modern West used spherical trigonometry to chart the heavens and the Earth. Glen Van Brummelen explores this exquisite branch of mathematics and its role in ancient astronomy, geography, and cartography; Islamic religious rituals; celestial navigation; polyhedra; stereographic projection; and more. He conveys the sheer beauty of spherical trigonometry, providing readers with a new appreciation for its elegant proofs and often surprising conclusions.

Heavenly Mathematics is illustrated throughout with stunning historical images and informative drawings and diagrams that have been used to teach the subject in the past. This unique compendium also features easy-to-use appendixes as well as exercises at the end of each chapter that originally appeared in textbooks from the eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries.


About Glen Van Brummelen

See more books from this Author
Glen Van Brummelen is coordinator of mathematics and the physical sciences at Quest University Canada and president of the Canadian Society for History and Philosophy of Mathematics. His books include "The Mathematics of the Heavens and the Earth: The Early History of Trigonometry" (Princeton) and "Mathematics and the Historian's Craft".
Published December 23, 2012 by Princeton University Press. 208 pages
Genres: Professional & Technical, Science & Math, History. Non-fiction

Reader Rating for Heavenly Mathematics

An aggregated and normalized score based on 17 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review