Through the use of abstraction and logical reasoning, mathematics developed from counting, calculation, measurement, and the systematic study of theshapes and motions of physical objects. Practical mathematics has been a human activity for as far back as written records exist. Rigorous arguments first appeared in Greek mathematics, most notably in Euclid's Elements. Mathematics developed at a relatively slow pace until the Renaissance, when mathematical innovations interacting with new scientific discoveries led to a rapid increase in the rate of mathematical discovery that continues to the present day.
Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) said, 'The universe cannot be read until we have learned the language and become familiar with the characters in which it is written. It is written in mathematical language, and the letters are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without which means it is humanly impossible to comprehend a single word. Without these, one is wandering about in a dark labyrinth'. Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777–1855) referred to mathematics as "the Queen of the Sciences". Benjamin Peirce (1809–1880) called mathematics "the science that... [continues]
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