Renaissance Mathematics and Mathematicians
Following the medieval period, mathematics begins to make formidable advances in the 15th century. Mercantile forces demanded the creation of an exceptionally wealthy class of individuals. To sustain such wealth required an infrastructure that required mathematical education as an important component.
The first country to be impacted were the Italians. Unhampered by previous eras of mathematical prohibitions, they freely entered the world of algebra, imprinting it with their own style. Symbolism and the hindu-arabic arithmetic began to take roots, very slowly at first and not at all uniformly.
The most profound changes were philosophical. Partly an aspect of Calendar reform which was needed because of the gradual failure of Ptolemaic astronomy and partly due to the aspect of the reformation, the Copernican revolution toward a heliocentric planetary system meant the destruction of an powerful Greek tradition.
In most cases the readings will be presented in the form of Acrobat (PDF) documents. To read and print them you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader.
The Goals and Problems will be given as HTML documents.