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Mathematical Treasure: Karl Fink’s History of Mathematics

Author(s): 
Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

Karl Fink (1851-1898) was a German medical doctor. He taught mathematics in a high school and wanted to help students understand the origins of mathematics. To provide an aid for eliminating this mystery, he wrote his Kurzer Abriss einer Geschichte der Elementar-Mathematik (Brief History of Elementary Mathematics) in 1890.

Title page of Karl Fink's 1890 Kurzer Abriss einer Geschichte der Elementar-Mathematik

The Table of Contents provides the scope of the history covered, including numerals and number systems, arithmetic, algebra, geometry and trigonometry.

First page of Table of Contents of Karl Fink's 1890 Kurzer Abriss einer Geschichte der Elementar-Mathematik

Second page of Table of Contents of Karl Fink's 1890 Kurzer Abriss einer Geschichte der Elementar-Mathematik

Third page of Table of Contents of Karl Fink's 1890 Kurzer Abriss einer Geschichte der Elementar-Mathematik

Fourth page of Table of Contents of Karl Fink's 1890 Kurzer Abriss einer Geschichte der Elementar-Mathematik

The images above were obtained through the courtesy of the University of California Libraries. The book may be viewed in its entirety in the Internet Archive.

Index to Mathematical Treasures 

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Karl Fink’s History of Mathematics," Convergence (August 2017)

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