TRIGONOMETRIC
Delights


ELI MAOR

Trigonometry has always been the black sheep of mathematics. 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 scienceamong them geography, astronomy, 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 trigonometric relatives. He brings the subject 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 four thousand 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 a once dreaded subject.

Eli Maor teaches the history of mathematics at Loyola University in Chicago. He has published extensively in journals of mathematics and mathematics education, among them Mathematics Teacher and the International Journal for Mathematics Education in Science and Technology. His previous two books, To Infinity and Beyond and e: The Story of a Number (both available from Princeton University Press) received high acclaim and have appeared in several translations.

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