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Mathematics in Vietnam

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Traditional Vietnamese mathematics has never been studied systematically. Rare mentions of Vietnamese mathematical works are either written by nonspecialists or based on second‐hand information. No systematic efforts were made by modern researchers to locate, publish, or study the corpus of extant Vietnamese documents concerning mathematics. General works by colonial French scholars, such as the book by Huard and Durand (1954: 120, 144) or the paper by the modern Vietnamese author Tạ (1979) contain only scarce and sometimes unreliable information on the traditional Vietnamese mathematics (Volkov 2002: 375). Similarly, no more than a short paragraph was devoted to the topic in the recent book A history of Chinese mathematics by Martzloff (1997: 110).

The first attempt to study the extant materials on Vietnamese mathematics was made by the Chinese mathematician and historian of science, Zhang Yong 章用 (1911–1939). In 1938 Zhang Yong visited Hanoi and explored the collection of books of...

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Notes

  1. 1.

    It is possible that the way in which Borri used his astronomical expertise to convert the Vietnamese functionaries was known to the Jesuit Ferdinand Verbiest whose prediction of a solar eclipse in 1669 played a crucial role in the history of the Jesuit mission in China.

  2. 2.

    According to Tran and Gros (1993).

  3. 3.

    According to Tran and Gros (1993).

  4. 4.

    According to Tran and Gros (1993).

  5. 5.

    The book is listed in Tran and Gros (1993) under the title Toán pháp 算法 (Computational methods).

  6. 6.

    The original title of the book remains unknown; the title “Computational methods” was apparently given to a manuscript with missing first pages on the basis of its contents.

  7. 7.

    According to Tran and Gros (1993).

  8. 8.

    This is not the title of the book. The first page(s) of the manuscript is (are) missing and the subtitle of its first section is used as its title in the catalogue of the National Library.

  9. 9.

    According to Tran and Gros (1993).

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Volkov, A. (2008). Mathematics in Vietnam. In: Selin, H. (eds) Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4425-0_8744

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