Count Like an Egyptian: A Hands-on Introduction to Ancient Mathematics

Count Like an Egyptian: A Hands-on Introduction to Ancient Mathematics

by David Reimer


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Count Like an Egyptian: A Hands-on Introduction to Ancient Mathematics by David Reimer

The mathematics of ancient Egypt was fundamentally different from our math today. Contrary to what people might think, it wasn't a primitive forerunner of modern mathematics. In fact, it can’t be understood using our current computational methods. Count Like an Egyptian provides a fun, hands-on introduction to the intuitive and often-surprising art of ancient Egyptian math. David Reimer guides you step-by-step through addition, subtraction, multiplication, and more. He even shows you how fractions and decimals may have been calculated—they technically didn’t exist in the land of the pharaohs. You’ll be counting like an Egyptian in no time, and along the way you’ll learn firsthand how mathematics is an expression of the culture that uses it, and why there’s more to math than rote memorization and bewildering abstraction.

Reimer takes you on a lively and entertaining tour of the ancient Egyptian world, providing rich historical details and amusing anecdotes as he presents a host of mathematical problems drawn from different eras of the Egyptian past. Each of these problems is like a tantalizing puzzle, often with a beautiful and elegant solution. As you solve them, you’ll be immersed in many facets of Egyptian life, from hieroglyphs and pyramid building to agriculture, religion, and even bread baking and beer brewing.

Fully illustrated in color throughout, Count Like an Egyptian also teaches you some Babylonian computation—the precursor to our modern system—and compares ancient Egyptian mathematics to today’s math, letting you decide for yourself which is better.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691160122
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 04/27/2014
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,226,785
Product dimensions: 8.40(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

David Reimer is associate professor of mathematics at The College of New Jersey.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Introduction ix

Computation Tables xi

1 Numbers 1

2 Fractions 13

3 Operations 22

4 Simplification 55

5 Techniques and Strategies 80

6 Miscellany 121

7 Base-Based Mathematics 144

8 Judgment Day 182

Practice Solutions 209

Index 235

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Count Like an Egyptian: A Hands-on Introduction to Ancient Mathematics 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Dr_cho_rev2017 More than 1 year ago
I found this book really enjoyable! It's pretty easy to follow and actually very interesting. If you like math, like me, then you will definitely like this book. I'd recommend this for students or anyone who's just interested in the subject. The book doesn't require any prior knowledge and goes through things step by step. Being a more visual learner, I found the diagrams and pictures super helpful! Basically if you like math, you might wanna check this out.