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Mathematics in African History and Cultures: An Annotated Bibliography

Paulus Gerdes and Ahmed Djebbar
Publication Date: 
Number of Pages: 
[Reviewed by
Johnny W. Lott
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The second edition of Mathematics in African History and Cultures: An Annotated Bibliography provides the user with an extensive collection of titles of books, papers, and other documents. This annotated list of articles by both Africans and those of the African Diaspora is impressive in both its breadth and its depth. Anyone looking for information on different games from the African continent, historical artifacts or development of mathematics from ancient times, or teaching lessons in mathematics culture will find references in this book. The authors have taken the time to prepare indices that make the book even more usable by including subject, country, regional, author, ethnographic and linguistic, journal, and mathematician indices. These indices make the book usable and more than simply a collection of annotations.

As a former teacher of the history of mathematics and a writer of problems, I find this volume invaluable as a resource. Some years ago when reviewing a collection of sona problems, it took much time for me to find the needed references for background on the problems. I can only wish that this reference had been available then. It is a reference that should be in most mathematics library collections.

Johnny W. Lott is Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at the University of Mississippi. Additionally, he holds the titles of Professor of Mathematics and Professor of Education. A past president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Dr. Lott is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Mathematical Sciences at The University of Montana. He may be reached at

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