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In this article we describe the invention of double-entry bookkeeping (or partita doppiaas it was called in Italian), as a fertile intersection between mathematics and early commerce. We focus our attention on this seemingly simple technique that requires only minimal mathematical expertise, but whose discovery is clearly the result of a mathematical way of thinking, in order to make a conceptual point about the role of mathematics as the humus from which disciplines as different as operations research, computer science, and data science have evolved.


This article was originally published in Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, volume 13, issue 1, in 2023 under a Creative Commons License (CCL).

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