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Discourses on Algebra

  • Igor R. Shafarevich

Part of the Universitext book series (UTX)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-X
  2. Igor R. Shafarevich
    Pages 1-26
  3. Igor R. Shafarevich
    Pages 27-66
  4. Igor R. Shafarevich
    Pages 67-116
  5. Igor R. Shafarevich
    Pages 117-140
  6. Igor R. Shafarevich
    Pages 141-182
  7. Igor R. Shafarevich
    Pages 183-222
  8. Igor R. Shafarevich
    Pages 223-269
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 271-279

About this book

Introduction

I wish that algebra would be the Cinderella ofour story. In the math­ ematics program in schools, geometry has often been the favorite daugh­ ter. The amount of geometric knowledge studied in schools is approx­ imately equal to the level achieved in ancient Greece and summarized by Euclid in his Elements (third century B. C. ). For a long time, geom­ etry was taught according to Euclid; simplified variants have recently appeared. In spite of all the changes introduced in geometry cours­ es, geometry retains the influence of Euclid and the inclination of the grandiose scientific revolution that occurred in Greece. More than once I have met a person who said, "I didn't choose math as my profession, but I'll never forget the beauty of the elegant edifice built in geometry with its strict deduction of more and more complicated propositions, all beginning from the very simplest, most obvious statements!" Unfortunately, I have never heard a similar assessment concerning al­ gebra. Algebra courses in schools comprise a strange mixture of useful rules, logical judgments, and exercises in using aids such as tables of log­ arithms and pocket calculators. Such a course is closer in spirit to the brand of mathematics developed in ancient Egypt and Babylon than to the line of development that appeared in ancient Greece and then con­ tinued from the Renaissance in western Europe. Nevertheless, algebra is just as fundamental, just as deep, and just as beautiful as geometry.

Keywords

Prime Prime number algebra binomial integers number theory polynomials sets

Authors and affiliations

  • Igor R. Shafarevich
    • 1
  1. 1.Mathematical Institute of the Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-56325-6
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-540-42253-2
  • Online ISBN 978-3-642-56325-6
  • Series Print ISSN 0172-5939
  • Series Online ISSN 2191-6675
  • Buy this book on publisher's site