# John Stillwell

From Learning

**John Stillwell** is a mathematician who has written several books on the history of mathematics and how different fields of mathematics interact.

From the preface of *Mathematics and Its History* (one of his books):

One of the disappointments experienced by most mathematics students is that they never get a course on mathematics. They get courses in calculus, algebra, topology, and so on, but the division of labor in teaching seems to prevent these different topics from being combined into a whole. In fact, some of the most important and natural questions are stifled because they fall on the wrong side of topic boundary lines. Algebraists do not discuss the fundamental theorem of algebra because “that’s analysis” and analysts do not discuss Riemann surfaces because “that’s topology,” for example. Thus if students are to feel they really know mathematics by the time they graduate, there is a need to unify the subject.