Mathematics elsewhere : an exploration of ideas across cultures Marcia Ascher.

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Mathematics elsewhere : an exploration of ideas across cultures Marcia Ascher.


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Book's title: Mathematics elsewhere : an exploration of ideas across cultures Marcia Ascher.
Library of Congress Control Number: 2002108312
National Bibliography Number:GBA2-70841
International Standard Book Number (ISBN):0691070202 (acid-free paper)
System Control Number:(OCoLC)ocm50487466
Cataloging Source:FNN, FNN KUT NGU UKM JED OCLCQ WSL DLC
Authentication Code:lccopycat
Library of Congress Call Number:QA21 .A83 2002
Personal Name:Ascher, Marcia, 1935-
Publication, Distribution, etc.:Princeton, N.J. . Princeton University Press, (c)2002.
Physical Description:x, 207 p. : ill., maps ;, 24 cm.
Bibliography, etc. Note:Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note:The logic of divination
Marking time
Cycles of time
Models and maps
Systems of relationships
Figures on the threshold
Epilogue.
Summary, etc.:Presenting mathematical ideas of peoples from a variety of small-scale and traditional cultures, this book humanizes our view of mathematics and expands our conception of what is mathematical. Through engaging examples of how particular societies structure time, reach decisions about the future, make models and maps, systematize relationships, and create intriguing figures, Marcia Ascher demonstrates that traditional cultures have mathematical ideas that are far more substantial and sophisticated than is generally acknowledged. Malagasy divination rituals, for example, rely on complex algebraic algorithms. And some cultures use calendars far more abstract and elegant than our own. Ascher also shows that certain concepts assumed to be universal
that time is a single progression, for instance, or that equality is a static relationship
are not. The Basque notion of equivalence, for example, is a dynamic and temporal one not adequately captured by the familiar equal sign. Other ideas taken to be the exclusive province of professionally trained Western mathematicians are, in fact, shared by people in many societies. The ideas discussed come from geographically varied cultures, including the Borana and Malagasy of Africa, the Tongans and Marshall Islanders of Oceania, the Tamil of South India, the Basques of Western Europe, and the Balinese and Kodi of Indonesia.
Rubrics: Mathematics
History
Social history

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