Robert Sneden explores the great mathematical breakthroughs in history. Over time, our knowledge of mathematics has progressed in response to our desire to make life easier. Initially, the first breakthroughs were motivated by very practical problems, but as our understanding of theory advanced, a desire to solve more abstract problems has led to some incredible discoveries. Each chapter opens with a helpful overview and timeline of events, putting each breakthrough in perspective. From the inventions of algebra and geometry to probability and the Turing machine and the birth of the computer, you can see how each fascinating breakthrough paved the way for the next.