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History Of Mathematics Essay

1160 words - 5 pages

The knowledge of mankind’s use of Mathematics comes from the Babylonians and Egyptians which later adopted and improved by the Greeks. Babylonia was considered one of the ancient civilizations were agricultural advancement originated. Just like Egyptian mathematics, Babylonian mathematics was practiced to address the need of their society. Mathematics was used in irrigation, industrial works such as weaving, metal works, masonry, pottery, and to build homes and temple decorated with mosaics in geometric patterns. It was also used in the proper execution of their tax laws, to measure their lands and even in making dice for their leisure games. There are also evidences which show that they were able to develop a complex system in Metrology. In terms of level of difficulty, the uses of their Math might be thought as very elementary compared to Mathematics of today, but their astronomical application had achieved a level comparable to that of the Greeks. Sumerians and Babylonians made astonishing mathematical advancement whey they succeeded to make a sophisticated lunar calendar. Babylonians also developed other revolutionary mathematical concepts. Although, Pythagorean Theorem is attributed to Greek mathematician “Pythagoras”, the known and controversial Plimpton 322, a tablet formed out of clay, shows that long before Pythagoras, Babylonians knew the secret of the right-angled triangles. Other interesting contributions of Babylonians to our modern civilization include the use of number zero and the use of a 12 hour clock with 60 minutes per hour. Their sexagesimal number system helps the society of today in developing a 360 degree system. The use of standards in measuring lengths, weights, and volumes were also contributed by Babylonian Mathematics that is still useful today.
Just like Babylonian mathematics, Egyptian civilization had also made a lot of mathematical contributions. As early as 6000 B.C. Egyptians were known to have practiced the documentation of patterns of lunar phases and even seasons for religious and agricultural purposes. Their method of determining the best time to sow and reap is still used today for bountiful yields from crop and any other agricultural products. The use of their body parts as measuring instruments was very helpful in the field of land surveying. Their ten fingers are the bases of decimal numeric system. It is believed that the Egyptians were the first to successfully develop the base 10 numeration systems (2700 B.C). Active trading had also been part of their society and the practical problems related to trading led to the development of notation for fraction.
Among the mathematical evidence of Egyptian mathematics, nothing could surpass the substantiations shown by their great pyramids. These structures confirm how sophisticated their mathematics was. There was also unearthed evidence indicating that they had already known the formula on how to calculate the volume of the frustum. They had also...

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