## The History of Mathematical Tables: From Sumer to SpreadsheetsMartin Campbell-Kelly, Professor Emeritus of Computer Science Martin Campbell-Kelly, Mary Croarken, Visiting Fellow Department of Computer Science Mary Croarken, Gresham Professor of Geometry Raymond Flood, Raymond Flood, Eleanor Robson The oldest known mathematical table was found in the ancient Sumerian city of Shuruppag in southern Iraq. Since then, tables have been an important feature of mathematical activity; table making and printed tabular matter are important precursors to modern computing and information processing. This book contains a series of articles summarising the technical, institutional and intellectual history of mathematical tables from earliest times until the late twentieth century. It covers mathematical tables (the most important computing aid for several hundred years until the 1960s), data tables (eg. Census tables), professional tables (eg. insurance tables), and spreadsheets - the most recent tabular innovation. The book is presented in a scholarly yet accessible way, making appropriate use of text boxes and illustrations. Each chapter has a frontispiece featuring a table along with a small illustration of the source where the table was first displayed. Most chapters have sidebars telling a short "story" or history relating to the chapter. The aim of this edited volume is to capture the history of tables through eleven chapters written by subject specialists. The contributors describe the various information processing techniques and artefacts whose unifying concept is "the mathematical table". |

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### Contents

Introduction | 1 |

Tables and tabular formatting in Sumer Babylonia and | 19 |

The making of logarithm tables | 49 |

History of actuarial tables | 79 |

de Pronys project for making | 105 |

from Müller to Comrie | 123 |

machines | 145 |

Table making in astronomy | 177 |

The General Register Office and the tabulation | 209 |

British table | 235 |

Table making for the relief of labour | 265 |

The making of astronomical tables in HM | 295 |

The rise and rise of the spreadsheet | 323 |

Biographical notes | 349 |

### Other editions - View all

The History of Mathematical Tables: From Sumer to Spreadsheets Martin Campbell-Kelly Limited preview - 2003 |

### Common terms and phrases

acid actuarial annuities Archives astronomical Babbage's Bessel Bessel functions Blanch Briggs Briggs's British Association Bureau calculating machines Cambridge University Library census century Charles Babbage column Comrie Croarken death decrement tables difference engine digits early edition electronic computers ephemeris equations errors example formulae functions Glaisher Gresham College Gunter History of Computing HMSO interpolation James Glaisher Laboratory Lagrange logarithm tables London longitude Lotus Lowan lunar Mathematical Tables Committee Mathematical Tables Project MathematicalTables Committee mathematicians mechanical Mesopotamian method mortality motion Museum Napier National Nautical Almanac Office navigation Nippur observations orbit Paris perturbations planetary planets position printing production Prony Prony's published Records Royal Greenwich Observatory Royal Society Scheutz Science scientific sines spreadsheet statistical stereotyping subtabulation table makers tablets tabular tabulation tangents texts theory tion University Press users values VisiCalc volume

### References to this book

Modular Forms: A Classical and Computational Introduction Lloyd James Peter Kilford Limited preview - 2008 |