References compiled by Lord Midair MacCormaic (Charles Cohen). Last updated on June, 1998.

Mathematics References:

W. W. Rouse Ball, "A Short Account of the History of Mathematics." Dover Publications, Inc. New York, 1960. ISBN 0-486-20630-0. Unaltered reprint of the 1908 edition. This is one of the best math history books out there, complete with simple examples and good references.

W. W. Rouse Ball and H.S. M. Coxeter, "Mathematical Recreations and Essays." Thirteen Edition. Dover Publications, Inc. New York, 1987. ISBN 0-486-25357-0. Reprint of the 1892 edition. A very good coverage of mathematical puzzles. Very annoying because he doesn't explain how they are solved ("…the solution is obvious."). Includes references to mathematical recreations of the Middle Ages.

Carl B. Boyer. "A History of Mathematics." Second Edition. Revised by Uta C. Merzbach. John Wiley & Songs, New York, 1989. ISBN 0-471-09763-2 (0-471-54397-7 paperback), QA21.B767. This book may be more complete that Ball's book, but it is also more convoluted and has far fewer examples. Much of Boyer's book is based on Ball's book. I find I refer more to Ball's book than Boyer's.

Lucas N. H. Bunt, Phillip S. Jones and Jack D. Bedient. "The Historical Roots of Elementary Mathematics." Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1988. ISBN 0-586-25563-8, QA21.B95. A fine book detailing the mathematics of several ancient civilizations, good as a primer.

Eric Temple Bell, "Mathematics: Queen & Servant of Science." Tempus Books of Microsoft Press. Redmond, Washington, 1989. ISBN 1-55615-173-X, QA21.B42. Originally published in 1951. This is an interesting book which tries to take several mathematical subjects and make them interesting. I like the presentation, but it is a bit light on the history.

 

Robotics References:

L. Sprague de Camp. "The Ancient Engineers." Barnes & Noble, Inc, USA, 1993. ISBN 0-88029-456-6. This is a fun book, which is unfortunately more story that historical. I would consider it a tertiary resource.

T. K. Derry and Trevor I. Williams, "A Short History of Technology: From the Earliest Times to A.D. 1900." Dover Publications, Inc. New York, 1993. ISBN 0-486-27572-1, T15.D4. Originally published Oxford University Press, 1961. This book serves as a fine overview of the history of technology, and is not a bad read, either.

Marshall Clagett. "Science of Mechanics in the Middle Ages." The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin, 1959. ISBN 0-299-01900-4. This is also a good detailed book of medieval mechanics. I liked it, but it is a very dry read.

John Cohen. "Human Robots in Myth and Science." A. S. Barnes and Company, Inc, New York, 1967. Library of Congress Catalogue Card Number: 67-13175. This is a very superficial overview of the history of robotics, and is unfortunately the best that I can currently find.

Donald R. Hill (translator), Ibn al-Razzaz al-Jazari. "The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices." D. Reidel Publishing, Boston, 1975. ISBN 90 277 0329 9. I finally have this book (cost me an arm and a leg too)! al-Jazari lived in the 12th Century, and this book is about how to build automata. The book contains plates from the original text, a translation, and annotation. I'll be working from this for years!

Donald R. Hill. "Science and Technology in Ninth-Century Baghdad." From the book "Science in Western and Eastern Civilization in Carolingian Times," edited by Butzer and Lohrmann, 1993. A good overview.

Donald R. Hill. "Al-Biruni's Mechanical Calendar." From "Annals of Science, 42 (1985), 139-163." This describes a mechanical calendar created in the 11th Century. Includes plates of the original text. I have to build this…

Geoff Simons. "Robots: The Quest for Living Machines." Sterling Publishing Co., Inc, New York. ISBN 0-304-34086-3 (paperback: 0-304-34414-1). Again, the history is very superficial and not well documented. The later chapters which deal with modern robotics leave out much of the robotic research that I feel is important, which makes
me question the earlier historical chapters.

 

General:

Isaac Asimov. "Asimov's Chronology of Science and Discovery." Harper & Row, New York, 1989. ISBN 0-06-270114-2. Q125.A765. This delightful book is a fun read and a great overview of the history of science. However, I have found several entries that are just plain wrong, so be careful when using it. I actually read this book from cover to cover because it was so much fun to see the grand movement of 4000 years of science at once.

James Burke. "Connections." Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1995. ISBN 0-316-11672-6. T15B76. Anyone who has seen Mr. Burke and his Leisure Suite of Knowledge in his various television shows knows that he presents scientific history in a fascinating light. This book is equally interesting.

Andre Goddu. "The Physics of William of Ockham." E. J. Brill, Leiden, 1984. ISBN 90-04-06912-7. I have not read this yet, but it looks as though it directly quotes much of Ockham's work, which would make it a good primary source.

John Goss. "Rand McNally's The City Maps of Europe - 16th Century Town Plans from Braun & Hogenberg." Chicago, 1992. ISBN 0-528-83524-6. I couldn't resist picking up this book full of two-page color plates of the original city maps.

Colin A. Ronan. "Science: Its History and Development Among the World's Cultures." Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, 1982. ISBN 0-87196-745-6. Q125.R7426. I have not read this book sufficiently to critique it.

 

Last Updated: 28 June 98
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