Tuesday, 13 March 2012

History of Mathematics, Part II

Babylonian Mathematics
Babylonian mathematics refers to any mathematics of the people of Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) from the days of the early Sumerians through the Hellenistic period almost to the dawn of Christianity. It is named Babylonian mathematics due to the central role of Babylon as a place of study. Later under the Arab Empire, Mesopotamia, especially Baghdad, once again became an important center of study for Islamic mathematics. 

Egyptian Mathematics
Egyptian mathematics refers to mathematics written in the Egyptian language. From the Hellenistic periodGreek replaced Egyptian as the written language of Egyptian scholars. Mathematical study in Egypt later continued under the Arab Empire as part of Islamic mathematics, when Arabic became the written language of Egyptian scholars. 

Greek Mathematics

Greek mathematics refers to the mathematics written in the Greek language from the time of Thales of Miletus (~600 BC) to the closure of the Academy of Athens in 529 AD. Greek mathematicians lived in cities spread over the entire Eastern Mediterranean, from Italy to North Africa, but were united by culture and language. Greek mathematics of the period following Alexander the Great is sometimes called Hellenistic mathematics.
Greek mathematics was much more sophisticated than the mathematics that had been developed by earlier cultures. All surviving records of pre-Greek mathematics show the use of inductive reasoning, that is, repeated observations used to establish rules of thumb. Greek mathematicians, by contrast, used deductive reasoning. The Greeks used logic to derive conclusions from definitions and axioms, and used mathematical rigor to prove them.

Chinese Mathematics
Early Chinese mathematics is so different from that of other parts of the world that it is reasonable to assume independent development. The oldest extant mathematical text from China is the Chou Pei Suan Ching, variously dated to between 1200 BC and 100 BC, though a date of about 300 BC appears reasonable 

Islamic Mathematics
The Islamic Empire established across Persia, the Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa, Iberia, and in parts of India in the 8th century made significant contributions towards mathematics. Although most Islamic texts on mathematics were written in Arabic, most of them were not written by Arabs, since much like the status of Greek in the Hellenistic world, Arabic was used as the written language of non-Arab scholars throughout the Islamic world at the time.Persians contributed to the world of Mathematics alongside Arabs. 

Indian Mathematics
Indian mathematics emerged in the Indian subcontinent from 1200 BC until the end of the 18th century. In the classical period of Indian mathematics (400 AD to 1200 AD), important contributions were made by scholars like Aryabhata, Brahmagupta, and Bhaskara II. The decimal number system in use today was first recorded in Indian mathematics. Indian mathematicians made early contributions to the study of the concept of zero as a number, negative numbers, arithmetic, and algebra. In addition, trigonometry was further advanced in India, and, in particular, the modern definitions of sine and cosine were developed there. These mathematical concepts were transmitted to the Middle East, China, and Europe and led to further developments that now form the foundations of many areas of mathematics. 

Nadiah Roslan 

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