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History of Mathematics High School - Essay Example

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Originally, the Ancient Chinese used the Rod numerals in doing computations. It was used before the invention of the abacus. Today, these can be seen in some Chinese markets in Hong Kong. Rod numerals or counting rods are short rods that are manipulated on top of a wooden table or counting board in doing the computations (Wikipedia)…
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History of Mathematics High School Essay
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Download file to see previous pages The rods are placed in columns with the rightmost column representing the units, the next column representing the tens, then the nest representing the hundreds, and so on. Red rods represent the positive numbers while black rods represent the negative numbers. For example, the number 25 will have a representation using the rods where 5 will be placed in the rightmost column and 2 will be placed in the next column. An empty column represents zero (Chinese Rod Numerals (Counting Rods)).
The rods were carried in a pouch and placed on a counting board which had compartments corresponding to the ones, tens, hundreds place and so on. Each compartment was split into two parts. The right part is for the heng (1 to 9) rods and the left part was for the tsangs (10 to 90) rods. Whole numbers are represented by combining these two types of rods. After the rods were placed in their rightful compartments, they were then manipulated by repositioning and reforming them as required by the arithmetic operation.
The first evidence of the existence of zero is from the Sumerian culture in Mesopotomia some 5,000 years ago (Wallin). This was in the form of cuneiform symbol for numbers where a slanted double wedge between two cuneiform symbols indicates an absence of a number or zero. Over time it became a positional notation form in the Babylonian Empire. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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