MAA Writing Awards
The Changing Concept of Change: The Derivative from Fermat to Weierstrass
Award: Carl B. Allendoerfer
Year of Award: 1984
Publication Information: Mathematics Magazine, Vol. 56, (1983), pp. 195-206
Summary: First the derivative was used, then discovered, explored and developed, and only then, defined.
About the Author: (from Mathematics Magazine, Vol. 56 (1983)) Judith V. Grabiner who benefited from the history, philosophy, and literature of the storied Chicago General Education program while getting her bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago, received her Ph.D. in the History of Science from Harvard in 1966. She has edited the Book Review department of Historia Mathematica, chaired the Southern California section of the Mathematical Association of America, and written The Origins of Cauchy's Rigorous Calculus (MIT, 1981). Dr. Grabiner is now Professor of Mathematics at Pitzer College in Claremont, California.