Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Calculus Discovered in India 250 Years Before Newton, Leibniz?

George Gheverghese Joseph from The University of Manchester claims to have uncovered papers showing that Indian scholars described the infinite series, a cornerstone of calculus, 250 years before Newton and Leibniz. Interestingly, there is also evidence that this discovery may have been transmitted to Europeans at the time by traveling Jesuit scholars. His research is apparently part of a new (3rd) edition of his book, The Crest of the Peacock: the Non-European Roots of Mathematics, which details the often-neglected and highly significant contributions of non-european mathematicians. Sounds cool.


3 comments:

david said...

Hmmm... but I suppose he doesn't go so far as to claim that either Newton or Leibniz were simply transcribe rules they'd learned though some lost chain...?

Bayman said...

David-
Apparently not, at least as far as my reading of the article goes, Joseph maintains that Newton still deserves credit for formulating the algorithms of calculus. But I'm certainly no expert on calculus. I think I might remember how to take a derivative....

Kevin Z said...

dr/dt me asap