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It is important to know how Math was discovered and how it has evolved over the years. History of Math refers to an investigation of mathematics discoveries, Math methods as well as the past notations. It began in the 6th century BC with the Pythagoreans who used the term Math from the ancient Greek which means subject of instruction. The Islamic math later developed and expanded Math to several civilizations namely: Prehistoric, Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Chinese, and Indian


It originated in the concepts of number, patterns in nature, form and magnitude. Due to the current modern education or studies, it is evident that these concepts are not idiosyncratic to humans. The ideas would have been a way of life in hunter –gatherer societies. The discovered Prehistoric artifacts in Africa dated 20,000 years old or more gave early attempts to determine time. Near the top of river Nile the ishango bone was found maybe more than 20,000 years old which consists a series of marks curved in three columns along the length of the bone. Peter Rudman stated that the concept of prime numbers development can only be possible after the concept of division in which he dates to after 10,000BC and prime numbers not being understood until around 500 BC. According to Alexander Marshack a scholar, the ishango bone could have caused later development of mathematics in Egypt. Predynastic   Egyptians of the 5th millennium BC used pictures to represent geometric designs. Claims have it that megalithic monuments in England and Scotland include geometric ideas like ellipses, circles as well as Pythagorean triples in designs



Babylonian: it uses base 60 instead of 10. Its notation is not hard to read because they use a positional notation system. The system has the disadvantages such as the lack of zero later become a huge problem because 60 was written the same as number 1 and the Babylonians had no symbol for zero which could not be easily solved. There are 12 numbers that easily divide into 60 helping the Babylonians develop very accurate measurements of positions of stars and planets. The astronomers also used the system to record astronomical findings.


From the Egyptians, the system was used in the Ancient Egypt from around 3000BC until the early first millennium AD. It was an arrangement of numbering in multiples of ten mostly rounded off to the higher power written in hieroglyphs. The system has separate symbols for:  one unit, one ten, one hundred, one thousand, one ten thousand, one hundred thousand and one million .It uses one stroke to represent the number. The system has the advantages that it makes finding sums easy and the base 10 system is easy for modern people to understand, the symbols for each power of ten are easy to identify. It has the disadvantages that it is difficult to add, the mathematical symbols made complicated calculation very hard or even impossible.


From the Greeks, It is a system of representing numbers using Greek alphabet letters. It came in two forms namely:  acrophonic which was used until 100BCE and alphabetic system which replaced acrophonic and it use 27 different symbols in different combinations where alphabet letters were used to represent numerals. The whole system is additive. The system has the advantage that it uses four symbols to write a large number such as 9,999 in Greek form. The system has the disadvantage that it was difficult to use in arithmetic compared to using Roman numerals.


Roman system is a numeral system that originated in Rome where it involves combining letters from the Latin alphabet. It remained the way of writing numbers in Europe all through. It uses only seven symbols: I, V, X, L, C, D and M representing 5, 10, 50,100,500 and 1,000 respectively. Numbers  1 to 10 are written as  I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, and X respectively. The letters can be combined to write large numbers. The system helps us to represent numbers in a new way and form patterns. Quantities are easier to represent using this system. The system though has the demerits such as it has no fractions and no zero, one has to know special rules for you to use them and also the Roman numerals were at times confused with Roman letters.



Chinese system has characters that correspond to numbers zero to nine and are all one syllable long where the system of counting follows a sentence which is logic and easy to remember. It has special characters to represent all multiples of ten. The system has a base 10 but important differences in representation of numbers. It is easier to remember when performing mathematical equations due to base 10 system. It also contained less symbols to use as compared to Egyptian and Roman systems. Its number naming system is open. The system has the advantage that it was so simple to be easily forged on bank notes and the disadvantage of that one can only count to about twenty


Indian system is used to express large numbers in Indian subcontinent. Large numbers in the system are expressed by the terms lakh and crore which are commonly used terms in the system. It corresponds to the western system for the zeroth through forth powers of ten. The system is used in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The system has the advantages that because it has a zero addition, subtraction, multiplication and division operations are easy to be executed than a numeration system which does not has a zero. It does not give a way to calculate fractions because there is no symbol for zero and makes trading very difficult.

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