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Trigonometry has always been the black sheep of mathematics. (Mathematical Mysteries).

Too advanced to be part of elementary math, yet too elementary for the higher branches of the profession, it has been looked upon as a glorified form of geometry, complicated by tedious computation. Nothing could be further from the truth. Uniquely positioned as a meeting point between pure and applied mathematics, its rich history shows how different branches of science--among them geography, astronomy, and physics--and even music have influenced one another.

In this book, Eli Maor rejects the usual, and descriptions of the sine and cosine functions and their trigonomics relatives. He brings the subjects to life in a compelling blend of mathematics, history, and biography. From the proto-trigonometry of the Egyptian pyramid builders to Renaissance Europe's quest for more-accurate artillery; from the earliest known trigonometric table, carved on a clay tablet by an unknown Babylonian scholar, to Fourier's famous theorem, which finally explained the source of musical harmony, here is a rich tapestry of almost 4,000 years of trigonometric history.

The first part of the book assumes only high school algebra and trigonometry; the second part uses some elementary calculus. Trigonometric Delights will change forever our view of this subject.

--from Princeton University Press Princeton University Press, 1998, 236 p., 6 1/4" x 9 1/2", hardcover, $26.95
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Title Annotation:'Trigonometric Delights'
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Apr 13, 2002
Words:212
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