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Episode summary: Conventional histories of mathematics are dominated by well-known names like Pythagoras, Leibniz or Newton. But to concentrate solely on figures from Europe gives us only a patchwork understanding of the rich and varied history of mathematical achievement around the world. Tim Harford speaks to Dr Kate Kitagawa, co-author of ‘The Secret Lives of Numbers’ to explore the long history of mathematical advances and innovation across civilisations and centuries, from the female mathematician at court in imperial China to the pioneers in the mathematical powerhouses of the Middle East in the first millennium AD. Presenter: Tim Harford Producer: Jon Bithrey Editor: Richard Vadon Sound Engineer: James Beard (Picture: Statue of Al Khwarizmi, a ninth century mathematician Credit: Mel Longhurst/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

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