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A Station Favorable to the Pursuits of Science: Primary Materials in the History of Mathematics at the United States Military Academy

ISBN: 9780821820599
Publisher: American Mathematical Society, London Mathematical Society
Publication Date: 1999-12-14
Number of pages: 272
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Description


This book reveals the rich collection of mathematical works located at the nation's first military school, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. It outlines the relevant history of the Academy, discusses the mathematics department and curriculum, and describes the development of the library during the nineteenth century. A major part of this book is an annotated catalog of the more than 1300 works published between 1496 and 1915 found in the West Point library. Mathematics and its instruction greatly influenced the development of the Academy, the technological growth of America's army, and the standards of the military profession. These events, in turn, were crucial to the overall development of mathematics, mechanics, and engineering during the nineteenth century in the United States. Three individuals played a prominent role in this chronicle: Sylvanus Thayer, Charles Davies, and Albert Church. Listed are rare and historically valuable works in a broad range of mathematical subjects. The collection clearly shows the strong European influence on the early Academy. Also listed are numerous textbooks by West Point faculty and graduates; significant contributions were made by these writers to algebra, geometry, calculus, descriptive geometry, mechanics, surveying, and mathematics education. This book provides an important resource for the general audience as well as for those in pursuit of more scholarly information. It contains many interesting photographs and valuable details about the West Point collection. It is a must-have for anyone interested in mathematical books and collections.

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