Mathematics, Professional Knowledge and Technology
Mathematics was “born” of the need to be able to state numbers and carry out some arithmetical operations with these numbers. The ability to “count” then became part of man’s essential basic knowledge. For thousands of years mathematics has developed along two lines. The first, and initially entirely dominant, was mathematics as a tool in economics and trade, in astronomy, to calculate areas and the like. The second was the science of mathematics, whose great names include Euclid, Pythagoras and Archimedes. With scientists like Descartes, Newton and Leibniz in the 1600s came the first great steps towards the modern science of mathematics. Descartes introduced the system of co-ordinates and replaced the universally known circle with the equation x2 + y2 = 25, and was then able to solve all manner of geometrical problems without needing to draw any figures. This mathematics became abstract, and accessible to only a few.
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