MAA Writing Awards
Euler and the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra
Award: George Pólya
Year of Award: 1992
Publication Information: The College Mathematics Journal, Vol. 22, No. 4, (1991), pp. 282-293
Summary: A look back to the history of mathematics and the work of Euler to provide a basic explanation of the fundamental theorem of algebra.
About the Author: (from The College Mathematics Journal, Vol. 22, No. 4, (1991)) William Dunham received his B.S. from the University of Pittsburgh and his Ph.D. from Ohio State University, where he wrote a 1974 dissertation in general topology under Norman Levine. He has since taught at Hanover College and as a visiting professor at Ohio State. Over the years, Dunham’s interests have shifted toward mathematics history. Twice he has directed summer seminars for the National Endowment for the Humanities, and in 1990 he authored Journey through Genius: The Great Theorems of Mathematics. A second book, jointly written with wife and colleague Penny Dunham, is in the works.