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Mathematical Treasure: Nicolaus Medler's Arithmetic

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

Nicolaus Medler (1502-1551) was a German rechenmeister (reckoning master) and an author of several books on mathematics. His Rudimenta arithmeticae (1543) became very popular and went through several editions. This image is of the 1550 edition.

Title page of Rudimenta arithmeticae by Nicholaus Medler, 1550

The image above was obtained through the courtesy of the Erwin Tomash Library on the History of Computing, Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota.

Erwin Tomash (1921-2012) was a pioneering computer scientist, helping launch the U.S. computer industry from the 1940s onward. During the 1970s he became interested in the history of computer science, and founded the Charles Babbage Society, and its research arm, the Charles Babbage Institute. The Institute, an archive and research center, is housed at the University of Minnesota. Its Erwin Tomash Library on the History of Computing began with Tomash's 2009 donation to the Institute of much of his own collection of rare books from the history of mathematics and computing. (Source: Jeffrey R. Yost, Computer Industry Pioneer: Erwin Tomash (1921-2012), IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, April-June 2013, 4-7.)

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Nicolaus Medler's Arithmetic," Convergence (August 2018)