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Mathematical Words: Origins and Sources

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Author:John Aldrich
Description: "Notes that describe in general terms the origins of the modern vocabulary of mathematics and the sources of information" on which Jeff Miller based his Earliest Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics. See, in particular, "When and whence for some English mathematical words," a table that gives the date of the first appearance in English of many mathematical terms, as well as the language from which the term came into English. Learn the etymology and provenance of terms such as "bootstrap," "determinant," and "point." Read about contributions from Old English, Latin, Greek, French, and German.

Levels: Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12), College, Research
Languages: English
Resource Types: Reference Sources
Math Topics: Communicating Math, History and Biography

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