The book (Yuzhi) Shuli jingyun (御製)數理精蘊 is part of a collection called (Qinding) Lüli yuanyuan (御定)律曆淵源 "(Imperially endorsed) Origins and foundations of musical tuning, calculation, and the calendar". It consists of three treatises on astronomy, mathematics, and music that assemble Chinese and Western knowledge in these three fields and was compiled on imperial order during the Kangxi reign-period 康熙 (1662-1722) under the supervision of Prince Yūnlu (Ch. Yunlu 允禄, 1695-1767). The main compilers were He Guozong 何國宗 (d. 1767) and Mei Gucheng 梅谷成.
The emperor aimed to have this book compiled was that he had become aware that the Jesuit missionaries who worked as astronomers at the imperial court brought with them knowledge that covered issued which Chinese scientists had never asked about. The concrete occasion was that the Directorate of Astronomy (qintianjian 欽天監) had made an error in the calculation of the solar term Xiazhi 夏至 (see calendar). The Kangxi Emperor therefore ordered the Director of Astronomy to make use of Western calculation methods that "did not fail in any salient point" (da dun bu wu 大端不誤).
The book was begun in 1713 and finished in 1722, and was printed by the imperial printing shop in 1724. The whole collection has a length fo 100 juan and consists of the parts Lixiang kaocheng 曆象考成 (42 juan), Lülü zhengyi 律呂正義 (5 juan), and Shuli jingyun 數理精蘊 (53 juan).
The Shuli jingyun consists of two parts (bian 編) and an appendix with tables with a length of 8 juan. The first part represents a theoretical basis and explains the foundations of Chinese mathematical conceptions as found in the apocryphal texts on the Hetu 河圖 and Luoshu 洛書 and the early classic Zhoubi suanjing. It explains the basics of geometry and of arithmetics.
The second part of the book consists of five chapters dealing with (shou 首 "initials", xian 綫 "lines", mian 面 "areas", ti 體 "volumes" and mo 末 "finals"). The Shuli jingyun is a compendium on Chinese and Western mathematics and gives insight into the differences between Chinese and European concepts of mathematics, as can be seen in the book Dushushu 對數術 by Gu Guanguang 顧觀光 (1799-1862) and its comparison with Henry Briggs' (1561-1630) writings.