Georges Ifrah

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Georges Ifrah (born 1947, Marrakech, French Morocco) is a French author and historian of mathematics, especially numerals. He was formerly a teacher of mathematics.

His exhaustive work, From One to Zero: A Universal History of Numbers (1985, 1994) was translated into multiple languages, became an international bestseller, was included in American Scientist's list of "100 or so Books that shaped a Century of Science", referring to the 20th century.[1]

Despite popular acclaim for his works on the history of numbers, they have been criticized by a few scholars.[2]

Publications[edit]

Several books devoted to numbers and history of numbers and number related topics including:

  • 1981: Histoire Universelle des Chiffres (Paris)
    • English translation (1985): From one to zero. A universal history of numbers transl. by Lowell Bair. New York: Viking Penguin Inc. XVI, 503 pages. (Zentralblatt review: 0589.01001: "It is the richness in documents from both primitive and advanced cultures, which makes this publication unique.[…]a number of authors mentioned in the text are not cited in this bibliography. And in many cases the sources of illustrations remain anonymous".)
    • German translation (1986): Universalgeschichte der Zahlen transl. by Alexander von Platen. Frankfurt/New York: Campus Verlag. 580 pages. (Zentralblatt review 0606.01023.)
    • German translation (1989): Universalgeschichte der Zahlen. 600 pages. (Additional introduction and indices.) (Zentralblatt review: 0686.01001.)
  • 1985: Les chiffres ou l'histoire d'une grande invention Robert Laffont
    • "The history of numbers or the history of a great discovery" (abridged version? ≈260 pages)
    • Polish translation (1990): Dzieje liczby czyli historia wielkiego wynalazku translated by Stanisław Hartman. Wrocław: Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich-Wydawnictwo Polskiej Akademii Nauk (Ossolineum). 260 pages. ISBN 83-04-03218-X. (Zentralblatt review: 0758.01017.)
  • 1994: Histoire universelle des chiffres, 2nd edition. (Seghers, puis Bouquins, Robert Laffont, 1994
    • Now in two volumes: Vol I 633 pages ISBN 0-471-37568-3 (Zentralblatt review: 0955.01002), Vol II 412 pages ISBN 0-471-39671-0 (Zentralblatt review: 0969.68001).
    • Norwegian translation (1997): All verdens tall. Tallenes kulturhistorie. I, II. Translated by Anne Falken, Guri Haarr, Margrethe Kvarenes and Svanhild Solløs. Oslo: Pax Forlag. 1284 p. (1997). ISBN 82-530-1887-8 (set); ISBN 82-530-1897-5(vol.1); ISBN 82-530-1898-3 (vol.2). (Zentralblatt review: 0933.01001)
    • English translation (1998): Universal History of Numbers: From Prehistory to the Invention of the Computer. Translated by David Bellos, E.F. Harding, Sophie Wood and Ian Monk. Harville Press, London, 1998 (ISBN 978-1860463242).
      • American edition of English tr., Volume 1 (2000): The Universal History of Numbers: From prehistory to the invention of the computer. Translated by David Bellos, E.F. Harding, Sophie Wood and Ian Monk. John Wiley and Sons Inc., 2000.
      • American edition of English tr, Volume 2 (2001): The Universal History of Computing: From the Abacus to the Quantum Computer with E. F. Harding. John Wiley & Sons Inc, 2001, ISBN 0-471-44147-3 (softcover) and ISBN 0-471-39671-0 (hardcover).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Morrison, Philip; Morrison, Phylis (November–December 1999). "100 or so Books that shaped a Century of Science". American Scientist (Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society) 87 (6). Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  2. ^ See, for example:
    Dauben, Joseph; Georges Ifrah (January 2002). "Book Review: The Universal History of Numbers and The Universal History of Computing (part 1)". Notices of the AMS 49 (1): 32–38. ISSN 0002-9920. 
    Dauben, Joseph; Georges Ifrah (February 2002). "Book Review: The Universal History of Numbers and The Universal History of Computing (part 2)". Notices of the AMS 49 (2): 211–216. ISSN 0002-9920.