Date of Award

Summer 1956

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




It has been said that the labor-saving devices ot this modern age have been made possible by the untiring efforts of lazy men. While working with cubic equations, solving them according to the standard methods appearing in modern text-books on the theory of equations, it became apparent, that in many cases, the finding of solutions was a long and tedious process involving numerical calculations into which numerous errors could creep. Confessing to laziness, and having been told at an impressionable age that "any fool can do it the hard way but it takes a genius to find the easy way", it became of interest to find a simpler method of solution. It eventually became clear that it is necessary to find out what has been done in the past to accomplish this.

The information is found to be interesting and varied, but scattered among many sources. These sources are brought together here, not only in the hope that this history will be helpful in learning about the development of cubic equations, but also to challenge the reader to find solutions of his own, which will not only reduce the labor and errors involved, but also will explain the true mathematical meaning of a cubic equation.

This history brings together the most important aspects in the development of solutions to the cubio equation and presents a selected list of literature and notes.

Included in

Mathematics Commons