Fragments of the Past
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Ivars Peterson (MathLand)  
Historians of mathematics now generally agree that scholars in China, India, and the Islamic world produced remarkably sophisticated mathematics between the fifth and the fifteenth centuries. However, most would probably still argue that Europeans in later centuries were unaware of this work and made advances with minimal help from the earlier efforts. Careful detective work now hints that significant ideas in several areas of mathematics  trigonometry, nonEuclidean geometry, number theory, and combinatorics  were in fact transmitted from the Islamic world in time for them to play crucial roles in furthering European mathematics.  


Levels:  High School (912), College 
Languages:  English 
Resource Types:  Articles 
Math Topics:  Combinatorics, NonEuclidean Geometry, History and Biography, Number Theory, Trigonometry 
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