Pacioli

b. Borgo San Selpolcro, Tuscany c. 1445-1450

d. later than 1509

The *Summa de Arithmetica, Geometria, Proportioni et Proportionalita
*(*Summary of Arithmetic, Geometry, Proportions and Proportionality*)
of Pacioli, published in 1494 was the first great general work on mathematics
to be printed. It is further distinguished by Pacioli's treatment of arithemetic,
geometry and algebra from a scientific rather than a practical viewpoint.
In this work we have a famous example of the problem of points.

The relevant text from the Summa. is available here in both Italian and English in facing columns.

Pacioli's solution is easily generalized. Suppose a game is to continue until
one of two players has won *n* rounds. The game is terminated when Player
A has won *a* rounds and Player B has won *b*. By Pacioli's rule,
the Players A and B receive shares of the stakes in ratio *a* to
*b* independent of the number of rounds needed to win.
Cardano thought this solution ridiculous.