Mathematical Works Printed in the Americas, 1554–1700
Burdick's exhaustive research has unearthed numerous examples of books not previously cataloged as mathematical. While it was thought that no mathematical writings in English were printed in the Americas before 1703, Burdick gives scholars one of their first chances to discover Jacob Taylor's 1697 Tenebrae, a treatise on solving triangles and other figures using basic trigonometry. He also goes beyond the English language to discuss works in Spanish and Latin, such as Alonso de la Vera Cruz's 1554 logic text, the Recognitio Summularum; a book on astrology by Enrico Martínez; books on the nature of comets by Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora and Eusebio Francisco Kino; and a 1676 almanac by Feliciana Ruiz, the first woman to produce a mathematical work in the Americas.
Those fascinated by mathematics, its history, and its culture will note with interest that many of these works, including all of the earliest ones, are from Mexico, not from what is now the United States. As such, the book will challenge us to rethink the history of mathematics on the American continents.
About the Author
"This learned work . . . offers a number of surprises that students and collectors of mathematical books and books of science will find particularly useful."—Nicholas Basbanes, Fine Books & Collections Gently Mad Blog
"This book is fun to browse. A work of real and obviously loving scholarship."—James N. Boyd, Mathematics Teacher
"This book is a valuable reference on the early history of mathematics in the New World."—Doru Stefanescu, Mathematical Reviews
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