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What Is a Function?

  • Silvanus P. Thompson
  • Martin Gardner
Chapter

Abstract

No concept in mathematics, especially in calculus, is more fundamental than the concept of a function. The term was first used in a 1673 letter written by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, the German mathematician and philosopher who invented calculus independently of Isaac Newton. Since then the term has undergone a gradual extension of meaning.

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Copyright information

© Martin Gardner 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvanus P. Thompson
  • Martin Gardner

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