Robert Coolman

  • pythagoreans

    How a Mathematical Superstition Stultified Algebra for Over a Thousand Years

    Hooked on numbers: Pythagoreans celebrate sunrise (1869), a painting by Fyodor Bronnikov (1827–1902).Wikicommons Like most people, my high-school training in mathematics involved next-to-no history, barely touching on the names of a few mathematicians, like Pythagoras, and their theorems. I graduated only vaguely aware that geometry came from ancient Greece and algebra came from the Babylonians. […]