The Real and Imaginary History of Algebra
What is Algebra good for? Teachers claim students need it for critical thinking and logic skills. Biologists, economists, scientists, engineers, and chemists claim they actually use it—daily. Construction workers claim that higher math is used to calculate angles, to determine the amount of wood required in a project and the volume of cement to be used. Really? Just what is Algebra, where did it come from, and how often is it used by mere mortals?
John Derbyshire, mathematician, linguist, and celebrated author joins the Geeks for a discussion about his new book [Unknown Quantity, A Real And Imaginary History of Algebra|http://www.amazon.com/Quantity-Real-Imaginary-History-Algebra/dp/030909657X].
*! Week in Geek
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!A Set of Questions Worthy of Discussion
We didn’t actually use these questions, but these would have been good questions of this amazing guest. Maybe next time we have him on.
- Who is Diophantus and why should he be crowned the father of Algebra even though he was late by two millenia?
- What is math exactly, and how does it relate to the mind?
- What is the future of Algebra?
- What is the story of the mysterious x (x=a+b), and how has its symbolism changed the World?
- Why is Algebra significant today?
- How has the evolution of Algebra change the way we think?
- Does a mathematician see the world differently from others?