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History of Mathematics Essay Example

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History of Mathematics

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However, it took ages to takes that intellectual leap from the tangible idea of two things to the invention of symbol or word for the abstract idea of “two”. Even in today’s modern age, there are isolated hunter gatherer tribal people in Amazonia who use words for “one”, “two” and “many”, moreover, others have words for only up to five. Without proper agriculture and trade, these people don’t need formal system of numbers (Mastin, 2010).Ancient people kept track of regular occurrences and events, such as, the phases of moon, and seasons. Some of the most ancient evidence that reveal human thinking about numbers is from notched bones in Africa that dates back to 35,000 to 20,000 years ago. However, it was very basic of the math or similar activity, such as, the count or tallying (Mastin, 2010).Pre-dynastic Egyptians and Sumerians depicted their knowledge of geometric designs on their artifacts as early as the 5th millennium BC, similarly, some megalithic societies did the same in northern Europe in the 3rd millennium BC or even before that. However, their mathematical practices were more of art and decorative stuff rather than systematic treatment of figures, forms, quantities, patterns. Proper mathematical practice started largely as a reaction to bureaucratic needs when civilizations flourish and developed agriculture. They started practicing it in Sumerian and Babylonian civilizations of Mesopotamia and in ancient Egypt. The major objective was to measure plots of land and to impose taxes on people. There is some evidence of basic arithmetic and geometric notations on the petroplyphs at Knowth and Newgrange burial hills in Ireland that is estimated to be from 3500 BC and 3200 BC respectively. These samples used a recurring zigzag glyph like thing for the purpose of counting. This system was so effective and successful that it remained in use during 1st millennium Britain .Moreover, there are some evidence from 2300 BC is Stonehenge in England that represents the use of 60 and 360 in the measurement of a circle, however, there are some opposition to this conception. This practice was developed as an independent one from sexagesimal counting system of the ancient Sumerian and Babylonians (Mastin, 2010).Modern day Iraq and a part of ancient Mesopotamia, called Sumer was the origin of writing system, the wheel, the arch, the plow, agriculture, irrigation and several other innovations. Therefore, this

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preview essay on History of Mathematics
  • Pages: 20 (5000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Mathematics
  • Level: Undergraduate
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