History of Modern Mathematics

by David Eugene Smith

Author's Preface

Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1906
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Source: Smith, D.E. (1906). Hisotyr of Modern Mathematics. London: Chapman and Hall.
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 12.0
  • Word Count: 298


This little work was published about ten years ago as a chapter in Merriman and Woodward’s Higher Mathematics. It was written before the numerous surveys of the development of science in the past hundred years, which appeared at the close of the nineteenth century, and it therefore had more reason for being then than now, save as it can now call attention, to these later contributions. The conditions under which it was published limited it to such a small compass that it could do no more than present a list of the most prominent names in connection with a few important topics. Since it is necessary to use the same plates in this edition, simply adding a few new pages, the body of the work remains substantially as it first appeared. The book therefore makes no claim to being history, but stands simply as an outline of the prominent movements in mathematics, presenting a few of the leading names, and calling attention to some of the bibliography of the sub ject. It need hardly be said that the field of mathematics is now so extensive that no one can longer pretend to cover it, least of all the specialist in any one department. Furthermore it takes a century or more to weigh men and their discoveries, thus making the judgment of contemporaries often quite worthless. In spite of these facts, however, it is hoped that these pages will serve a good purpose by offering a point of departure to students desiring to investigate the movements of the past hundred years. The bibliography in the foot-notes and in Articles 19 and 20 will serve at least to open the door, and this in itself is a sufficient excuse for a work of this nature.

Teachers College, Columbia University, December, 1905.