Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz: The Polymath Who Brought Us Calculus
M. B. W. Tent
CRC Press, Oct 17, 2011 - Mathematics - 260 pages
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz: The Polymath Who Brought Us Calculus focuses on the life and accomplishments of one of the seventeenth century’s most influential mathematicians and philosophers. The book, which draws on Leibniz’s written works and translations, and reconstructs dialogues Leibniz may have had based on the historical record of his life experiences, portrays Leibniz as both a phenomenal genius and a real person.
Suitable for middle school age readers, the book traces Leibniz’s life from his early years as a young boy and student to his later work as a court historian. It discusses the intellectual and social climate in which he fought for his ideas, including his rather contentious relationship with Newton (both claimed to have invented calculus). The text describes how Leibniz developed the first mechanical calculator that could handle addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. It also examines his passionate advocacy of rational arguments in all controversial matters, including the law, expressed in his famous exclamation calculemus: let us calculate to see who is right.
Leibniz made groundbreaking contributions to mathematics and philosophy that have shaped our modern views of these fields.