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History of Mathematics
(Click on the question number for the answer.)
 
Numerals
The numerals used by today's mathematicians were developed in ...
A. Rome
B. Arabia
C. France
D. Greece
E. England
 
Letters from Leibnitz
To what system was Leibnitz referring when he wrote this?
I enclose an attempt to devise a new numerical
system. By basing it on the number 2 instead
of the number 10, I am able to write all
numbers in terms of 0 and 1.
 
Integer Sets
What set of positive integers satisfies the equation, a squared + b squared = c squared?
A. trigonometric identities
B. Cartesian coordinates
C. Pythagorean triples
D. Fibonacci sequences
E. ordered pairs
 
Archimedes
Archimedes described it as greater than 3 10/71 and less than 3 10/70. Today that number is called ...
 
Ancient Units
Which ancient Egyptian unit of measurement was set as the distance between the elbow and the tip of the middle finger?
A. cubit
B. stone
C. karat
D. quire
E. parsec
 
Number Systems
Computers use the binary system. We ordinarily use the decimal system. But the Babylonians used the sexagesimal system that had what number as its base?
 
Fancy Figurin'
Who deduced the heights of the pyramids from the lengths of their shadows and measured the distance to a ship from shore by the method of similar triangles?
A. Plato
B. Galen
C. Thales
D. Pericles
E. Euripides
 
Calculators
This ancient device was a predecessor of the modern calculating machine and is still widely used in Japan and China. It consists of a set of beads on rods with each rod denoting place value. Name this instrument.
 
Polymaths
Who collaborated with Alfred North Whitehead in writing "Principia Mathematica" and later won the 1950 Nobel prize for literature?
A. M.C. Escher
B. Jean Wourier
C. Norbert Weiner
D. Leonhard Euler
E. Bertrand Russell
 
Ancient Axioms
Name the Greek who said these things.
All right angles are equal to one another.
A finite line segment can be extended
to a line of any length.
 
Literary Logicians
Who was a mathematician and writer?
A. Pat Carroll
B. Lewis Carroll
C. Leo G. Carroll
D. Diahann Carroll
E. Madeline Carroll
 
History of Measurement
The distance from the North Pole to the equator was measured along an arc of a great circle, and this unit was repeatedly divided by ten until what convenient unit was determined?
 
Math Fundamentals
What concept was developed by ancient Hindu mathematicians?
A. zero
B. conic section
C. decimal point
D. 360-degree circle
E. Pythagorean theorem
 
Special Numbers
Ancient Greeks said a natural number is perfect if the sum of all its divisors except itself equals the number. Which number is perfect?
A. 4
B. 9
C. 16
D. 20
E. 28
 
Math Tools
John Napier introduced what system of notation as a computational tool in 1614?
 
Syllogisms
Who invented the syllogism as the keystone of his system of deductive logic?
A. Ptolemy
B. Aristotle
C. George Boole
D. Sir Francis Bacon
E. Nikolai Lobachevski
 
Round and Round
The 360-degree circle and the 60-minute hour were developed by the ...
A. Greeks
B. Mayans
C. Romans
D. Egyptians
E. Babylonians
 
Simple Solutions
In 200 B.C., Eratosthenes found the Sun's rays were vertical at Syene and 7 1/2 degrees from vertical at Alexandria. He knew the distance between the two cities. What was he able to calculate using these data?
 
Founders
August F. Mobius was a founder of what branch of mathematics?
A. calculus
B. topology
C. probability
D. game theory
E. symbolic logic
 
The Abacus
Each row of beads on an abacus stands for a different power of ...
 
Chronology of Math
Which field of mathematics was developed first?
A. algebra
B. trigonometry
C. deductive logic
D. analytic geometry
E. probability theory
 
Calculus
The development of differential and integral calculus is attributed to ...
A. Kepler and Fermi
B. Maxwell and Gauss
C. Russell and Wiener
D. Newton and Leibnitz
E. Oughtred and Mosely
 
Computer History
Name the contemporary of Charles Babbage who developed a symbolic logic that reduced all logical relationships to these three expressions.
and   or   not
 
Graphing
The means of graphically representing functions of variables occurred with the introduction of coordinates by what mathematician?
A. Isaac Newton
B. Rene Descartes
C. Norbert Wiener
D. Leonhard Euler
E. Leonardo Fibonacci
 
Paradox Posers
What Greek philosopher born in Elea in the fifth century B.C. is known by mathematicians for his paradoxes that appear to demonstrate the impossibility of movement?
 
Machines
A device, ENIAC, was the first ...
A. abacus
B. compass
C. electronic computer
D. mechanical slide rule
E. gear-driven calculator
 
Math Techniques
The Sieve of Eratosthenes is used to find ...
A. vectors
B. cube roots
C. prime numbers
D. irrational numbers
E. an approximation of pi
 
Limits to Logic
What Austrian-born mathematician demonstrated that there can be no proof of the consistency of a formal mathematical system from within that system?
 
Math Centuries
During what century did Newton and Leibnitz develop calculus and Descartes invent analytic geometry?
A. 16th
B. 12th
C. 19th
D. 17th
E. 14th
 
Solids
Which is not one of the five Platonic solids?
A. hexahedron
B. octahedron
C. tetrahedron
D. pentahedron
E. dodecahedron
 
 
 
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Answers to Math History
1. B
2. binary system
3. C
4. pi
5. A
6. 60
7. C
8. abacus
9. E
10. Euclid
11. B
12. meter
13. A
14. E
15. logarithms
16. B
17. E
18. circumference of the Earth
19. B
20. ten
21. C
22. D
23. George Boole
24. B
25. Zeno
26. C
27. C
28. Kurt Godel
29. D
30. D
 
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