Math 12 Project: Analyzing Historical Number Systems
• Explore various number systems
• Determine how each system works and use it to write and translate numbers
• Write a summary of each system, telling in detail the “rules” and patterns of the system
• Write a comparison of each system against the Hindu-Arabic Numeration System
Doing the Project:
1. Choose three numeration systems other than the Hindu-Arabic Numeration System. Ones to consider are Chinese stick, Egyptian, Babylonian, Mayan, Thai, Roman. Organize your answers to the following items by numeration system.
2. Using the Internet and any other sources, write a description of each system. Tell the origins of the system and explain through examples the “rules” for the system. Tell when the system was used, why these people created or needed a numeration system, were calculations performed using the system and if so how, and any other interesting information. Be sure to include a list of your references.
3. Use grid paper to make a 1 to 50 chart for each number system. Also, show how you would write the current year and the year you were born using each number system.
4. List advantages and disadvantages of each system.
5. Write a comparison of each system to the Hindu-Arabic System.
6. Create a numeration system of your own. Tell what it’s rules are and illustrate how to write numbers 1 to 100 using it. List the advantages and disadvantages of your system.
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