History of Mathematics Assignment

Brief History of Number Systems, Properties, and Operations


Number systems have been around since people began to talk. Over the course of years number systems have changed drastically. It is believed that number systems began in Egypt, they used different symbols to count.( 3000-1600 BC) The symbols that Egyptians came up with are still around today when we talk about big numbers such as discussing the history of Pope’s and sports such as super bowls.
In mathematics there are a lot of properties that students need to know about in order to solve a math problems the correct way. A few properties that everyone has heard of at some point in time are communitive, distributive, and associative property.
Operations help us come to an accurate number. For example, one operation that is very important is PEMDAS.

In the beginning...

  • 3000-1600 BC - Evidence of number systems found in Egypt
  • 3400 BC - Sumerians invented the first numeral system
  • 3100 BC - Egypt creates earliest known decimal
  • 1750 BC - Number System with base 60 created by the Babylonians
  • The Babylonians also created the concept of place value
  • 300 BC - Pingala (Indian mathematician) defines a binary numeral system
  • 300 AD - Earliest known use of zero as a decimal digit introduced by Indian mathematicians
  • 628 AD - Brahma-sphuta-siddhanta written by Brahmagupta gives rules for manipulating negative and positive numbers, computing square roots and rules for summing series
  • 12th Century - Modern Hindu Arabi numeral system created
  • 1321 - Levi ben Gershon writes Book of Numbers that deals with arithmetical operations, permutations, and combinations.
  • 1618 - John Napier published the first references to e in a work on logarithms
  • 1814 - Francois-Joseph Servois introduces the mathematical terms for commutative and distributive.

How will we use this information in your classroom?

I will present these mathematicians to my students and show their fun, interesting sides and talk about their struggles.
Students who come from a different cultural background, whether that be China, Egypt, or India, will find this material relatable and interesting.

When teaching PEMDAS we as a class can learn Francois Servois, the creator of the distributive property.