By William P. Berlinghoff, Fernando Q. Gouvea

'Where did math come from? Who suggestion up all these algebra symbols, and why? this article solutions those questions and plenty of different in an off-the-cuff, easygoing sort that is available to lecturers, scholars and a person who's concerned about the background of mathematical ideas."

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**Extra resources for Math through the ages : a gentle history for teachers and others**

**Sample text**

Let L∗ ⊃ {<} be a relational signature, L = L∗ {<}, K∗ be a reasonable Fra¨ıss´e order class in L∗ , and let K = {X : (X,

Sm }< , T = {t0 , . . , tn }< of ]0, +∞[, deﬁne S ∼ T when m = n and: ∀i, j, k < m, si s j + s k ↔ ti tj + tk . Observe that when S ∼ T , S satisﬁes the 4-value condition iﬀ T does and in this case, S and T essentially provide the same amalgamation class of ﬁnite metric spaces as any X ∈ MS is isomorphic to X = (X, dX ) ∈ MT where: ∀x, y ∈ X, dX (x, y) = si ↔ dX (x, y) = ti . Now, clearly, for a given cardinality m there are only ﬁnitely many ∼-classes, so we can ﬁnd a ﬁnite collection Sm of ﬁnite subsets of ]0, ∞[ of size m such that for every T of size m satisfying the 4-value condition, there is S ∈ Sm such that T ∼ S.

FRA¨ISSE (2a) The 4-values condition holds for {1, 3, 4} but as for {1, 2, 5}, this has to be proved by hand. For X ∈ M{1,3,4} , the relation ≈ deﬁned by x ≈ y ↔ dX (x, y) = 1 is an equivalence relation. Between the elements of two disjoint balls of radius 1, the distance can be arbitrarily 3 or 4. An example is given in Figure 3. Figure 3. An element of M{1,3,4} . (2b) The set {1, 3, 6} also satisﬁes the 4-values condition (to be checked by hand). For X ∈ M{1,3,6} , the relation ≈ deﬁned by x ≈ y ↔ dX (x, y) = 1 is an equivalence relation.