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Morris Kline

From Academic Kids

Morris Kline (1 May 1908 - 10 June 1992) was a Professor of Mathematics and a writer on the history, philosophy and teaching of mathematics, and of popular mathematics.

Kline was born and grew up in Brooklyn. He was the son of Bernard Kline, an accountant, and Sarah (nee Spatt). He studied mathematics at New York University, earning his bachelor's degree in 1930, master's in 1932 and a doctorate in 1936. In 1939 he married Helen Mann. They had two daughters, Elizabeth and Judith, and a son, Douglas. At the time of his death he had three grandchildren.

Kline taught at New York University from 1938 to 1975, and wrote many papers and more than a dozen books on various aspects of mathematics and particularly mathematics teaching. He repeatedly stressed the need to teach the applications and usefulness of mathematics rather than expecting students to enjoy it for its own sake. Similarly, he urged that mathematical research concentrate on solving problems posed in other fields rather than building structures of interest only to other mathematicians.

Books

Kline's books included:

  • Introduction to Mathematics (with Irvin W. Kay), Houghton Mifflin, 1937
  • The Theory of Electromagnetic Waves (ed), Inter-science Publishers, 1951
  • Mathematics in Western Culture, Oxford University Press,1953
  • Mathematics and the Physical World, T. Y. Crowell Co., 1959
  • Mathematics, A Cultural Approach, Addison-Wesley, 1962
  • Electromagnetic Theory and Geometrical Optics, John Wiley and Sons, 1965
  • Calculus, An intuitive and Physical Approach, John Wiley and Sons, 1967
  • Mathematics for Liberal Arts, Addison-Wesley, 1967 (republished as Mathematics for the Nonmathematician, Dover Publications, Inc., 1985)
  • Mathematics in the Modern World (ed), W. H. Freeman and Co., 1968
  • Mathematical Thought From Ancient to Modern Times, Oxford University Press, 1972
  • Why Johnny Can't Add: The Failure of the New Mathematics, St. Martin's Press, 1973
  • Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty, Oxford University Press, 1980
  • Mathematics: An Introduction to Its Spirit and Use; readings from Scientific American
  • Mathematics in the Modern World; readings from Scientific American
  • The Language of Shapes (with Abraham Wolf Crown)
  • Mathematics and the Search for Knowledge

External links

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