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The Pioneers of Calculus

Art Johnson, reviewer

The Pioneers of Calculus, Bruce White, 16 posters, $21.95 . Carolina Biological Supply Company, 2700 York Rd., Burlington, NC 27215 (800) 334-5551,

This set of posters is a welcome addition to any mathematics classroom. The sketches resemble the known likenesses of the mathematicians portrayed. Each poster contains well-written, accurate biographical sketches of each mathematician on poster board (11" x 14"). The set of posters is colorful and eye-catching, worth the purchase price for any mathematics classroom.

The Pioneers of Calculus set consists of sixteen portraits that include all the expected mathematicians: Newton, Leibniz, Fermat, Descartes, Pascal, Wallis, Cauchy, the Bernoullis, and Euler. Also included are Archimedes, Kepler, Maclaurin, Barrow, Weierstrass, and Taylor. Each poster displays a brief biography that highlights the mathematician's contribution to the development of modern calculus. Included in the biographies are engaging anecdotes such as Descartes’ fateful decision to accept the post of royal tutor to Queen Christina of Sweden and Archimedes’ heroic defense of Syracuse. The level of the biographies is at junior/senior high level, but only calculus students will appreciate the mathematics contributions related on each poster.

Art Johnson, Assistant Professor, Boston University.

Art Johnson, reviewer, "The Pioneers of Calculus," Convergence (July 2007)