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Mathematical Treasures - Maclaurin's Geometria Organica

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

Geometria Organica (1720) is considered one of Colin Maclaurin’s (1698-1746) major works. It consists of four parts: the first considers conics; the second part deals with nodal cubic curves; the third, with cubics and quartics; and the fourth discusses the general properties of curves. Among the special features of this book is a classification of quartic curves and the finding that “Two algebraic planar curves of order m and n have in general mn points in common.”

This is the first page of text of Geometria Organica.

These images from its George Arthur Plimpton Collection are presented through the courtesy of the Columbia University Libraries.


Index to Mathematical Treasures



Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasures - Maclaurin's Geometria Organica," Convergence (November 2019)


Mathematical Treasures from the Smith and Plimpton Collections at Columbia University