How the history of maths is much more diverse than you think

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THE history of mathematics has an image problem. It is often presented as a meeting of minds among ancient Greeks who became masters of logic. Pythagoras, Euclid and their pals honed the tools for proving theorems and that led them to the biggest results of ancient times. Eventually, other European greats like Leonhard Euler and Isaac Newton came along and made maths modern, which is how we got to where we are today.

But, of course, this telling is greatly distorted. The history of maths is far richer, more chaotic and more diverse than it is given credit for. So …

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