From Counting With Stones to Artificial Intelligence: The Story of Calculus

Anil Ananthaswamy: Fascinating anecdotes abound in Infinite Powers. Steven Strogatz, a mathematician working in nonlinear dynamics and complex systems, has written a romp through the history of calculus — the study of how things change. Starting with the ancient Greeks, the book ends with connections between the field and artificial intelligence and machine learning. Calculus was key to working with Newton’s laws of motion, which stimulated the Industrial Revolution. It is also central to quantum mechanics, which underpins the modern revolution in computers and communications. The book is a roll call of luminaries, including Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, René Descartes, and Pierre de Fermat.

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