Oxton House Publishers, LLC


2007 Beckenbach Book Prize

Washington, D.C., January 7, 2007 -- The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) announced today that William P. Berlinghoff and Fernando Gouvêa have received the prestigious BECKENBACH BOOK PRIZE at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in New Orleans, Louisiana. The prize, established in 1986, is named for the late Edwin Beckenbach, a well-known professor of mathematics at UCLA.  The award is not given on a regularly scheduled basis, but is given only when a book appears that is judged to be truly outstanding.



William P. Berlinghoff and Fernando Q. Gouvêa

Math through the Ages: A Gentle History for Teachers and Others, The Mathematical Association of America & Oxton House Publishers, 2004.

Math Through The Ages, A Gentle History for Teachers and Others consists of twenty-five short historical sketches of important topics in general mathematics and a 54-page mathematical “history in a large nutshell.”  The graceful writing in William P. Berlinghoff and Fernando Q. Gouvêa’s short expanded edition has the great advantage of being appealingly readable to a wide audience ranging from secondary school and liberal arts students through the mathematical community’s educators and practitioners. For each of the important concepts it treats, a carefully chosen sketch concisely brings together in a single unified chapter its many centuries of development. Selections begin with the development of notation and numerical concepts, continuing on through modern topics such as set theory, game theory, statistics, and computing. Its careful organization succinctly brings together historical concepts that a teacher would most need to know and that a student would most likely want to pursue further. Along with the thoughtful inclusion of cross references, accessible exercises and student projects, the book concludes with a valuable discussion of historical books and websites for further reading, concluding with an extensive bibliography. The beautiful writing makes it difficult for a reader to put the book down, and it is inviting to jump from one historical sketch to another.  The Beckenbach Book Prize Committee recommends that the MAA commend the authors and the joint publisher (Oxton House Publishers) for this enjoyable and useful book.

The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) is the world’s largest professional society that focuses on mathematics accessible at the undergraduate level.  The MAA has 27,000 members who participate in a variety of activities that foster mathematics education, professional development, student involvement, and public policy.  MAA’s national focus is complemented by its 29 regional sections—together functioning as an extensive network for the mathematics community.

First Edition, 2002

Expanded First Edition, 2004



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