Babylonian mathematics
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enThe fabulous positional system
http://plus.maths.org/content/fabulous-positional-system
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Chris Hollings </div>
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According to one mathematician, god created the whole numbers, with everything else being the work of humanity. Why, then did god not equip us with a good way of writing them down? <b>Chris Hollings</b> reveals that our number system, much used but rarely praised, is in fact a work of genius and took millennia to evolve. </div>
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<div class="pub_date">September 2008</div>
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<p>The symbols 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0, are so commonplace that we rarely appreciate just how special our system of numerals really is. Fifteen hundred years of development have given us an extremely succinct method for writing down even very large numbers. Our numerals have their origin in a system developed by the Hindu scholars of India in the middle of the first millennium AD. Their
system was in turn adopted by the Arabs, who ultimately transmitted it to Europe in the twelfth century.<p><a href="http://plus.maths.org/content/fabulous-positional-system" target="_blank">read more</a></p>http://plus.maths.org/content/fabulous-positional-system#comments48Babylonian mathematicshistory of mathematicsnumber systemSun, 31 Aug 2008 23:00:00 +0000plusadmin2342 at http://plus.maths.org/content101 uses of a quadratic equation
http://plus.maths.org/content/101-uses-quadratic-equation
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Chris Budd and Chris Sangwin </div>
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It isn't often that a mathematical equation makes the national press, far less popular radio, or most astonishingly of all, is the subject of a debate in the UK parliament. However, as <b>Chris Budd</b> and <b>Chris Sangwin</b> tell us, in 2003 the good old quadratic equation, which we all learned about in school, reached these dizzy pinnacles of fame. </div>
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<div class="pub_date">March 2004</div>
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<p><i>It isn't often that a mathematical equation makes the national press, far less popular radio, or most astonishingly of all, is the subject of a debate in the UK parliament. However, in 2003 the good old quadratic equation, which we all learned about in school, was all of those things.</i></p>
<h3>Where we begin</h3>
<p><!-- FILE: include/rightfig.html --></p><p><a href="http://plus.maths.org/content/101-uses-quadratic-equation" target="_blank">read more</a></p>http://plus.maths.org/content/101-uses-quadratic-equation#comments29Babylonian mathematicscompleting the squareellipseFibonaccigolden ratioNewton-Raphson methodpublic understanding of mathematicspythagoras' theoremquadratic equationMon, 01 Mar 2004 00:00:00 +0000plusadmin2245 at http://plus.maths.org/content