ResearchPaper - Barret Pickett Professor Becker...

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Barret Pickett Professor Becker Mathematical Methods 1 November 2007 Mathematics in Classical Civilizations Mathematics, it is the fundamental knowledge that binds the people of the world into a common system centered on concepts such as quantity, structure, space, and charge . This system in involves number, an abstract idea, used for counting and measuring . Today, the field of mathematics is extremely complex including multi- dimensional equations, integral calculus, complex and imaginary numbers . Mathematics has evolved quite extraordinarily throughout history . Ancient civilizations like the Egyptians and Babylonians built some of the world’s greatest structures but only because of the advances in math . Later Greek and Roman added their own contributions, with their Pythagorean triples, Euclid geometry, and Eudoxus’ method of exhaustion, an early form of integration . Ancient civilizations relied on mathematics for their superiority and used it to ensure they prospered . Probably the earliest major civilization to implement some higher level of math is the Babylonians . These were the people of Mesopotamia from the days of the early Sumerians until the beginning of the Hellenistic period . Our knowledge of Babylonian mathematics is derived from more than 400 clay tablets discovered since the 1850s . These tablets inscribed while moist and then left out in the sun or baked in an over to harden . All of these tablets were written in Cuneiform script, one of the earliest known
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forms or written expression . The majority of these tablets these tablets discovered date back to around 1800 to 1600 BC, and cover various subjects such as, fractions, algebra, quadratic and cubic equations, and the Pythagorean theorem (SOME #) . The Babylonian number system was a sexagesimal (base-60) numeral system . They used this system because 60 is a highly composite number, having divisors 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20, and 30 . From this we derive the modern day usage of 60 minutes to an hour, 60 seconds
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ResearchPaper - Barret Pickett Professor Becker...

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