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Mathematical Treasure: Waring's Properties of Algebraic Curves

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

Edward Waring (1736–1798) was an English mathematician remembered for his work in number theory and analysis. He wrote several works of a philosophical/mathematical nature. His Proprietates algebraicarum curvarum (1772) is an in-depth study of the properties of algebraic curves.

Title page of Proprietates algebraicarum curvarum by Edward Waring, 1772

In the preface of his work, Waring supplies a brief history of the study of curves. The first few pages of the preface are given here:

First page of preface to Proprietates algebraicarum curvarum by Edward Waring, 1772

Second page of preface to Proprietates algebraicarum curvarum by Edward Waring, 1772

The opening pages of the book begin with a list of specific problems:

Page 1 of Proprietates algebraicarum curvarum by Edward Waring, 1772

Second page of Proprietates algebraicarum curvarum by Edward Waring, 1772

Third page of Proprietates algebraicarum curvarum by Edward Waring, 1772

Detailed drawings in support of the discussion of the above problems are provided at the end of the text:

First page of geometrical diagrams from Proprietates algebraicarum curvarum by Edward Waring, 1772

Second page of geometrical diagrams from Proprietates algebraicarum curvarum by Edward Waring, 1772

The full work can be viewed courtesy of the University of Bordeaux, Library of Science and Technology, through BabordNum.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Waring's Properties of Algebraic Curves," Convergence (January 2020)

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