2
votes
2answers
63 views

History Of Algebra

Did the Indians invent algebra which was taken by Arabs and introduced by them to Europe as their own invention? Or did the Arabs invent algebra?
4
votes
0answers
33 views

Reference? filler: IRS, Rhind Papyrus, High-school algebra

I believe something like this was included as a filler in one of the MAA journals many years ago. I am searching for the exact reference (for the filler, or an earlier source). Someone dies, and ...
1
vote
3answers
253 views

Ancient Babylonian problem: solve the system $x + y = 50$, $x^2 + y^2 + (x - y)^2 = 1400$

$x + y = 50, x^2 + y^2 + (x - y)^2 = 1400$. [Hint: Subtract the square of the first equation from twice the second equation to get a quadratic in $x - y$.] I have gotten it reduced to $x^2 + y^2 ...
27
votes
4answers
6k views

Are We Teaching Pre-Calc Wrong?

It took some 1,250 years to move from the integral of a quadratic to that of a fourth degree polynomial. When we jump too fast to the magical algorithm, when we fail to acknowledge the effort that ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Johann Bernoulli did not fully understand logarithms?

This wikipedia article makes the claim: "Bernoulli's correspondence with Euler (who also knew the above equation) shows that Bernoulli did not fully understand logarithms." This is found under ...
2
votes
3answers
572 views

How was the quadratic formula found and proven? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why can ALL quadratic equations be solved by the quadratic formula? History of Quadratic Formula How was the quadratic formula $\frac{-b\pm\sqrt{b^2-4ac}}{2a}$ found ...
0
votes
0answers
86 views

Why $\pi$ was defined as the ratio of the circumference to the diameter instead of the radius? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is $\pi$ = 3.14… instead of 6.28…? It seems to me that it is more natural to define $\pi$ as the ratio of the circumference to the radius. If so ...
0
votes
2answers
180 views

Why was Newton concerned with finding tangents?

While trying to teach myself calculus, I stumbled upon a BBC documentary called The Birth of Calculus. In the documentary, the narrator explains that Newton and other contemporary mathematicians were ...
5
votes
0answers
209 views

Bloom of Thymaridas

I'm interested in learning more about the Bloom of Thymaridas, a description of which can be found here. Obviously the mathematics behind the identity is not particularly deep from a modern ...
1
vote
3answers
890 views

On the Origin and Precise Definition of the Term 'Surd'

So, in the course of last week's class work, I ran across the Maple function surd() that takes the real part of an nth root. However, conversation with my professor ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Are there numerical algorithms for Roman numerals?

In positional number systems there are algorithms for performing certain operations, like long division, to name one of the simplest. This works for positional systems, whatever base. I realize in ...
6
votes
2answers
972 views

Khayyam's work on cubic equations

Omar Khayyam is known for his significant progress in solving cubic polynomial equations. For example, his biography on www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk says (...) This problem in turn led Khayyam ...