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The History of Math

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Josh Buchner

on 16 January 2014

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Transcript of The History of Math

The first forms of recorded math date back to the Babylonian texts in 1900 BC
Moscow Papyrus in 1890 BC

Egyptian math in 1800 BC
-Babylonians were the people of Mesopotamia which is modern day Iraq. Babylonian math is derived from more than 400 tablets unearthed since the 1850’s. Some of which appeared to be graded schoolwork.

-The Moscow Mathematical Papyrus was approximately 18 feet long and contained 25 problems with solutions created by Soviet mathematicians.

-Egyptians first used math to calculate offering in tombs on ivory tablets then began teaching it and using it for measurements in alchemy and chemistry.

-The oldest known possible math tool ever used was the Lebombo bone which was discovered in 35,000 BC in the mountains of modern day Swaziland, it consists of 29 distinct notches carved into a Baboons fibula.
-It suggested an early attempt to quantify time.

Began in 1100 BC. They are known for taking the mathematics from early times in the Middle East and Mediterranean advancing and developing it. Adding and creating: negative numbers, decimals, a place value system, algebra geometry and trigonometry.

-Babylonians were the first to discover that the circumference of a circle was roughly 3 times the diameter

The study of mathematics as a subject begins in the 6th century B.C. with the Pythagoreans, who created the term mathematics from the greek word “mathem” which means: subject of instruction. The Pythagoreans were named after Pythagoras of Samos who was a greek philosopher and is credited as the founder of mathematics, although math was used in earlier times the pythagoreans were the first to really study, progress and create modern day Math.

-The Han Dynasty is where the first place value decimal system was invented
-The Hindu-Arabic numeral system began developing as early as the 1st century and had a complete system by the 9th century, forming the basis of the numerical digits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 that we use today.
-They began using math in construction of things like altars. As they got into more complex shapes like cones and pyramids they had to use more complex math along with it.


The simple but efficient ancient Chinese numbering system, which dates back to at least the 2nd millennium BC, used small bamboo rods arranged to represent the numbers 1 to 9. Then placed in columns representing units, tens, hundreds, thousands, etc. It was a decimal place value system, similar to the one we use today it was the first number system of its type, it was adopted by the Chinese over a thousand years before it was adopted in the West and it made complex calculations very quick and easy.
These are all the roots of math, Starting from 35,000 BC where people carved notches in the femur of baboons to keep track of time, to 2000 BC in the Middle East where people began using mathematics as a tool to calculate building structures, taxes and calculating revenue. To the 6th century BC in Greece where the Pythagoreans began teaching and learning math as a subject, all the way to present day in stellys where we learn useless stuff.
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