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Saunderson’s Elements of Algebra

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

Nicholas Saunderson (1682-1739) was a blind English mathematician. He served as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University. Although a good teacher and proficient mathematician, he did not publish his work. In 1740, after his death, his notes were published as Elements of Algebra, in ten books.

Saunderson’s portrait serves as the frontispiece.

Introducing the work is an “Advertisement” that can best be viewed by a modern reader as the author’s preface. It reveals Saunderson’s thoughts on teaching algebra.

These images were obtained through the courtesy of ETH-Bibliothek Zürich. The book may be viewed in its entirety at e-rara:


Index to Mathematical Treasures


Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Saunderson’s Elements of Algebra," Convergence (July 2017)