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Mathematical Treasure: Jacques Ozanam’s Récréations

Frank Swetz (Pennsylvania State University)

Jacques Ozanam (1640-1717) was a prolific French mathematician who is best remembered for his Récréations mathématiques et physiques first published in two volumes in 1694. The title page shown above is from the 1698 edition. The work was eventually expanded to four volumes and saw ten editions over two hundred years.

Sample problems from Récréations and their accompanying diagrams

More sample problems from this popular book

The Special Collections staff at the Linderman Library of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is pleased to cooperate with the Mathematical Association of America to exhibit this and other items from the Library’s holdings in “Mathematical Treasures.” In particular, Convergence would like to thank Lois Fischer Black, Curator, Special Collections, and Ilhan Citak, Archives and Special Collections Librarian, for their kind assistance in helping to make this display possible. You may use these images in your classroom; all other uses require permission from the Special Collections staff, Linderman Library, Lehigh University.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank Swetz (Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Jacques Ozanam’s Récréations," Convergence (August 2013)