Jiegenfang, Tianyuan, and Daishu:Algebra in Qing China

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Author(s)

    • MIAO Tian
    • Institute for the History of Natural Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Abstract

Western Algebra was transmitted into China at the end of Seventeenth Century, where it was accepted by some Chinese mathematicians at once. At that time, it was called jiegenfang. After the traditional tianyuan and siyuan methods were rediscovered, the jiegenfang was discarded by most Chinese mathematicians. In 1859, Augustus De Morgan's Elements of Algebra was translated into Chinese, and the term "algebra" was rendered as daishu. Chinese mathematicians began to become familiar with the symbolic algebra, and they soon discovered its advantages. At the end of nineteenth century, symbolic algebra spread rapidly and gained a permanent foothold in China, displacing the tianyuan and siyuan methods. In this paper, relying on a variety of source materials, the author gives an analysis of the internal factors that may have contributed to the change of the attitude of Chinese mathematicians toward algebra and tianyuan methods.

Journal

  • Historia scientiarum. Second series : international journal of the History of Science Society of Japan

    Historia scientiarum. Second series : international journal of the History of Science Society of Japan 9(1), 101-119, 1999-07-30

    The History of Science Society of Japan

References:  43

Codes

  • NII Article ID (NAID)
    110006441999
  • NII NACSIS-CAT ID (NCID)
    AA11081495
  • Text Lang
    ENG
  • Article Type
    ART
  • ISSN
    02854821
  • Data Source
    CJP  NII-ELS 
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