Kitagawa, Kate; Timothy Revell

An authoritative, accessible and revisionist history of maths that reveals the vital contributions of mathematicians from across the world and of all genders

The protagonists of this book won’t be familiar to most readers. Pythagoras, Newton and Descartes seldom feature. Instead, it highlights the remarkable lives and works of a diverse group of pioneers, who fought millennia of oppression to leave a spectacular legacy of mind-melting ideas and theorems.

Kitagawa and Revell bring to life the stories of mathematicians from every continent, from the brilliant Arabic scholars of the 9th Century ‘House of Wisdom’; to the pioneering African-American mathematicians of the 20th Century; from the first female mathematics professor (from Russia); to the “lady computers” around the world who revolutionised our knowledge of the night sky.

The authors want passionately to inspire people of every background to believe that mathematics is a subject for them. This ground-breaking book changes how we view our mathematical past, casting fresh light on the possibilities for the future.

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Viking, December 2023.  320 pages, paperback