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Pi: A Source Book (2000)

Pi: A Source Book

English| PDF | 2000 | 754 Pages | ISBN : 0387989463 | 57.98 MB

Our intention in this collection is to provide, largely through original writings, an ex­ tended account of pi from the dawn of mathematical time to the present. The story of pi reflects the most seminal, the most serious, and sometimes the most whimsical aspects of mathematics. A surprising amount of the most important mathematics and a signifi­ cant number of the most important mathematicians have contributed to its unfolding­ directly or otherwise.
Pi is one of the few mathematical concepts whose mention evokes a response of recoge­nition and interest in those not concerned professionally with the subject. It has been a part of human culture and the educated imagination for more than twenty-five hundred years. The computation of pi is virtually the only topic from the most ancient stratum of mathematics that is still of serious interest to modern mathematical research. To pursue this topic as it developed throughout the millennia is to follow a thread through the history of mathematics that winds through geometry, analysis and special functions, numerical analysis, algebra, and number theory. It offers a subject that provides mathe­ maticians with examples of many current mathematical techniques as weIl as a palpable sense of their historical development. Why a Source Book? Few books serve wider potential audiences than does a source book. To our knowledge, there is at present no easy access to the bulk of the material we have collected.