Academic Year 2023-2024

HISTORY OF MATHEMATICS

Teachers

Paolo Bussotti
Unit Credits
6
Teaching Period
First Period
Course Type
Supplementary
Prerequisites. No particular pre-requisite is necessary
Teaching Methods. Basically frontal lectures. On some subjects, as the concept of demonstration, guided discussions with the students will be developed.
Verification of Learning. Oral examination.
More Information. 1) The presence is not compulsory, but strongly recommended.

2) I am available to offer my lectures in English.

For the Erasmus and the non-attending students the programme is the same as that for the attending students.

However, students in these two categories are advised to contact the professor.

Objectives
The students have to recognize the most important conceptual elements in the historical development of mathematics.
Contents
History of geometry: from the classical Greek period (Euclid, Archimedes, Apollonius) to the rebirth of geometry in Europe starting from the 17th century. A particular care will be dedicated to the history of projective geometry.

History of mathematical analysis: from Archimedes’ demonstrations “for exhaustion” to the rigorization of analysis in the 19th century.

History of algebra: from the solution of the third degree equation in the 16th century to the birth of the concept of abstract group. Abel’s proof concerning the impossibility to solve the algebraic equations of 5th degree by radicals will be analysed.

Texts
There is no specific reference text. My slides will be the essential material for the final proof. Some specific reading will be suggested during the lectures.