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Book Cover
Author Lam, Lay Yong.

Title Fleeting footsteps : tracing the conception of arithmetic and algebra in ancient China / Lam Lay Yong, Ang Tian Se
Edition Revised edition
Published River Edge, NJ : World Scientific, [2004]
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (xxii, 243 pages) : illustrations
Contents The Sun Zi suanjing (the mathematical classic of Sun Zi) -- Numbers and numerals -- The fundamental operations of arithmetic -- The common fraction -- On extracting roots of numbers -- Tables of measures -- The various problems -- Socioeconomic aspects in Sun Zi's China -- Did the Hindu-Arabic numeral system have its origins in the rod numeral system?
Summary "The Hindu-Arabic numeral system (1, 2, 3, ...) is one of mankind's greatest achievements and one of its most commonly used inventions. How did it originate? Those who have written about the numeral system have hypothesized that it originated in India; however, there is little evidence to support this claim." "This book provides considerable evidence to show that the Hindu-Arabic numeral system, despite its commonly accepted name, has its origins in the Chinese rod numeral system. This system was widely used in China from antiquity till the 16th century. It was used by officials, astronomers, traders and others to perform addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and other arithmetic operations, and also used by mathematicians to develop arithmetic and algebra. Based on this system, numerous mathematical treatises were written." "Sun Zi suanjing (The Mathematical Classic of Sun Zi), written around 400 A.D., is the earliest existing work to have a description of the rod numerals and their operations. With this treatise as a central reference, the first part of the book discusses the development of arithmetic and the beginnings of algebra in ancient China and, on the basis of this knowledge, advances the thesis that the Hindu-Arabic numeral system has its origins in the rod numeral system. Part Two gives a complete translation of Sun Zi suanjing." "In this revised edition, Lam Lay Yong has included an edited text of her plenary lecture entitled "Ancient Chinese Mathematics and Its Influence on World Mathematics", which was delivered at the International Congress of Mathematicians, Beijing 2002, after she received the prestigious Kenneth O. May Medal conferred by the International Commission on the History of Mathematics. This should serve as a useful and easy-to-comprehend introduction to the book." --Book Jacket
Notes Part two is the translation of Sun Zi suanjing
Revised edition includes edited version of plenary lecture given at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Bejing in August 2002 entitled "Ancient Chinese mathematics and its influence on world mathematics."
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 229-235) and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Sun-tzu suan ching
Mathematics, Ancient.
Mathematics, Chinese -- Early works to 1800.
Form Electronic book
Author Ang, Tian Se.
ISBN 9789812567253 (electronic bk.)
9812567259 (electronic bk.)
OTHER TI Sun-tzu suan ching. English
Other Titles Tracing the conception of arithmetic and algebra in ancient China