„Only by a study of the development of mathematics can its contemporary significance be understood.“

— George Frederick James Temple

100 Years of Mathematics: a Personal Viewpoint (1981)

Contesto: The professional mathematician can scarcely avoid specialization and needs to transcend his private interests and take a wide synoptic view of the whole landscape of contemporary mathematics. His scientific colleagues are continually seeking enlightenment on the relevance of mathematical abstractions. The undergraduate needs a guidebook to the topography of the immense and expanding world of mathematics. There seems to be only one way to satisfy these varied interests... a concise historical account of the main currents... Only by a study of the development of mathematics can its contemporary significance be understood.