Adult Math Classics

Dunham, The Mathematical Universe

Benjamin, Secrets of Mental Math

Penrose, The Road to Reality

Plato, Timaeus; First mathematical treatise of western thought

Aristotle, Analytica Priora et Posteriora; System of deductive logic and method

Euclid, The Elements (in three volumes); Exhaustive compliation of Greek geometry

Archimedes, The Sand Reckoner; Introduces baseten system, principle of the logarithm

Archimedes, Method; Foundation of integral calculus

Apollonius, Conic Sections; Exhaustive work on the conic sections

Nicomachus, Introduction to Arithmetic; Compilation of arithmetic principles

Ptolemy, The Almagest; Greek trigonometry used to record star positions

alKhowarizmi, aljabr w’almuqabalah; First treatise on algebra and HinduArabic numerals

Fibonacci, Libro di bacci; Introduces HinduArabic numerals to Europe

da Vinci, Linear Perspective; The mathematical elements of painting

Stevin, La Disme; Systematic treatment of decimal fractions

Cardano, Ars Magna; Solves cubic and biquadratic equations, imaginary numbers

Galileo, Two New Sciences; Challenges Aristotle’s law of falling bodies

Descartes, Geometry; Lays the foundation of analytical geometry

Fermat, On the Theory of Probabilities; Pascal lays the foundation of probability

Newton, The Principia; Invention of calculus and defines gravity

Bernoulli, Law of Large Numbers; Lays the foundation of statistics

Euler, Seven Bridges of Konigsberg; Lays the foundation of topology

La Place, Celestial Mechanics; Applies calculus to heavenly orbits

La Place (Sommerville translation), Celestial Mechanics [click here for online text]; Expansion of La Place’s work

Boole, Symbolic Logic; Discovery of symbolic and boolean logic

Abbott, Flatland; Fictional work about mathematical dimensions

Poincare, Chance; Probability and statistics

Poincare, Mathematical Creation; How to create mathematics

Mendeleev, Periodic Law of the Chemical Elements; Lays the foundation for the periodic table

Whitehead, Principia Mathematica; Deepest study of the foundations of mathematics

Polya, How to Solve It; Problem solving

Jeans, Science and Music; Lays the foundation for the physics of music

von Neumann, Games and Economic Behavior; Lays the foundation of game theory