The Number Theory Revival 
The Number Theory Revival
by UNSW / N.J. Wildberger
Video Lecture 19 of 32
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Date Added: January 19, 2015

Lecture Description

After the work of Diophantus, there was something of a lapse in interest in pure number theory for quite some while. Around 1300 Gersonides developed the connection between the Binomial theorem and combinatorics, and then in the 17th century the topic was again taken up, notably by Fermat, and then by Euler, Lagrange, Legendre and Gauss. We discuss several notable results of Fermat, including of course his famous last theorem, also his work on sums of squares, Pell's equation, primes, and rational points on curves. The rational parametrization of the Folium of Descartes is shown, using the technique of Fermat. We also state Fermat's little theorem using the modular arithmetic language introduced by Gauss.

Course Index

Course Description

In this course, Prof. N.J. Wildberger from UNSW provides a great overview of the history of the development of mathematics. The course roughly follows John Stillwell's book 'Mathematics and its History' (Springer, 3rd ed)Starting with the ancient Greeks, we discuss Arab, Chinese and Hindu developments, polynomial equations and algebra, analytic and projective geometry, calculus and infinite series, number theory, mechanics and curves, complex numbers and algebra, differential geometry, topology and hyperbolic geometry.  This course is meant for a broad audience, not necessarily mathematics majors. All backgrounds are welcome to take the course and enjoy learning about the origins of mathematical ideas. Generally the emphasis will be on mathematical ideas and results, but largely without proofs, with a main eye on the historical flow of ideas. At UNSW, this is MATH3560 and GENS2005. NJ Wildberger is also the developer of Rational Trigonometry: a new and better way of learning and using trigonometry.

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