That's an interesting take on it. I watched some of the James Burke series on inventions that changed history. The one on bringing Arabic numerals into Europe was cute: "How do you write a zero?" "Just make a hole on the page."
You should never teach math to kids. Here's why. When my youngest daughter was around 5, she had a plate of cookies. I asked her for a cookie. She gave me a cookie. I told her, "You know I hate odd numbers. I need TWO cookies." She took my cookie back and said, "Zero is an even number, too!" Lesson learned. eric
That's pretty good actually; whether factually true or not (the number 9 seemed a little fudged at the bottom loop, as did 7). That said, there is probably some seed of truth in it. This thread reminded me of a series of programmes the BBC did on Radio 4 a couple of years back about numbers, looking at some of the most important numbers and their significance in mathematics, science, and nature; including 0, 1, π, e, the golden ratio (~ 1.618), and ∞. If you're in the UK it might be worth a look up (people outside the UK may be able to get the series on the BBC World site). Dave
One difficulty I found with Arabic numerals, when working in the middle east, was that the Arabic zero is a decimal point, and our 5 is written 0 So I kept thinking something priced at 0. riyals was cheap - it would have been except this translates as 50 riyals in western numbers
The author of pdf describes "Roman algorithms" and "Arabic algorithms" where I'm pretty sure he/she means Roman/Arabic numerals. An algorithm is a procedure for doing something (and itself is an Arabic word). I don't think I buy the business about the numbers coming from the angles in them.
BBC: 5 NUMBERS The First Series, mentioned above. BBC: ANOTHER 5 NUMBERS Second Series --ETA: Largest Prime Number now known is Mersenne prime, , a 12,978,189 digit number The Second Series (From 2003) states it as , 4,053,900 digits long. There were 39 known Mersenne Primes in Oct, 2003, there are now at least 46 known, all since 1996 discovered by GIMPS <SideTrack> GIMPS at 47 TeraFlops the 5th largest distributed computing supercomputer, similar to folding@home- the fastest "computer" in the world at 8.1 PetaFlops, and SETI@Home 528 TeraFlops. By comparison, the fastest "standalone" Supercomputer as of 11/2008, IBM's Roadrunner is 1.1 Petaflops. </SideTrack>
Ah yes, that was the series. I recall the first series first time around on Radio 4; I don't think I've had a listen to all of series 2. I also got it wrong slightly, 1 isn't in the first series, but i (or j to us EEs) is. Nice to see it is still accessible so I can listen again. I assume you can listen outside of the UK? And where will it be in another 6 years I wonder? That's not bad for a standalone. The biggest problem is an OS that can manage efficiently such power and resources. Dave