Q&A #169

Etymology of the word mathematics

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From: Mary Lou (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: May 12, 1998 at 09:16:44
Subject: Re: Root and meaning of mathematics

Mathematics comes from a Greek source. In Greek: mathema- means "science" and the ending -ike means "knowledge". In its purest form mathematics means "knowledge of science." However, today mathematics is considered as a "systematic study of magnitude, of relations between figures and forms, and of relations between quantities expressed symbolically." For a real in-depth study of "what is mathematics?" there is a book by that title: "What is Mathematics?" written by Richard Courant and Herbert Robbins, copyright 1941, first edition, Oxford University Press. Look in a library for this book. I hope that this answers your question.

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