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An Introduction to the History of Transcendental Numbers


(dedicated to Fred Piper, my teacher, with affection and admiration)

is the title of a Maple-based talk I gave on May 6th 2004 to the Dublin Branch of the Irish Mathematics Teachers Association. In my talk I covered only a small part of the very substantial Maple worksheet (along the lines of my Austria 2001 Fermat's little theorem talk) which I prepared for the occasion. The active mws file, with all outputs removed, is available here (343KB), the same file in zip format is available here (93KB), and the text only html version is available here (this is a large files with over 1000 gifs). A hard copy runs to 77 A4 printed pages. I have been asked about the possibility of a PDF version, but I don't have that facility; it is something I will have to investigate.

I highly recommend this wonderful book, which celebrates the 60th birthday of the remarkable English mathematician Alan Baker:

A Panorama of Number Theory or The View from Baker's Garden

Edited by Gisbert Wustholz, Published by the Cambridge University Press, September 2002, 372 pages 1 line diagram 3 tables, Hardback ISBN: 0521807999


Resources in Transcendental Numbers

Michel Waldschmidt generously provides a wealth of valuable papers and transparencies

(Note added February 2011. I had the great pleasure of meeting Michel Waldschmidt in Vancouver, in July 2007.)

Tanguy Rivoal (zeta function at 3, 5, 7, ... )

Yuri Bilu's homepagePaula B. Cohen's homepage

Dorian Goldfeld's homepage

T. N. Shorey's homepage

Robert Tijdeman's homepage

In April 2004 I sent an email to the Number Theory Mailing List in which I wrote "...I would very much appreciate hearing from anyone who offers courses - with web related material - on transcendental numbers (I'd like to make links to them). Does anyone teach any transcendence proofs at undergraduate level? I'd be very interested to know."


    An Historia Mathematica email from Roger Cooke on the subject Leibnitz on Pi. I thank Paula Cohen for informing me with the following excellent site (which, so far, is the only one of which I've heard):

David Angell's University of New South Wales course on Irrationality and Transcendence