The book review (due March 2)

These are things to keep in mind when choosing your book.

Subject matter

The book should contain a nontrivial amount of history and a nontrivial amount of mathematics.

That leaves open a variety of possibilities. The book can be

The examples were chosen at random. (I happen to own them all and had them in my house on the afternoon in 2003 when I wrote the previous version of these instructions. I've read 2 1/2 of the 6 and used another (Heath) for reference in teaching this course.)

More extensive lists appear on the course pages of my predecessors:

Unlike them, I do not require you all to choose different books. A list of specialty online bookstores is on the Links page.


Dr. Allen said the book should be "scholarly, not a popularization" -- but he also encouraged biographies, which are usually written for a general audience and hence are limited in how deeply they can treat the mathematics. I don't know where to draw the line between scholarly and popular books, especially if asked about a book I've never seen. I must trust you to choose a book that you think is respectable for a graduate student to be reading for academic credit. Further: