The Story of Maths. The Genius of the East

The Great Wall of China is a real feat of statics, built through a high and rugged landscape. Even before construction began, the ancient Chinese recognized that they had to make special calculations in order to do justice to the distances, the angles of inclination and the enormous amounts of material. The most gifted mathematicians in the country worked on the project. The Chinese were the first to use a decimal place value system, 1000 years earlier than us.

India was the first civilization to develop its own number system with the number zero – that was a mathematical revolution! In addition, the Indians calculated with negative numbers and made fundamental new discoveries in trigonometry. They also had a way to describe the mathematical number pi. In the 7th century an intellectual center arose in Baghdad, where the mathematical know-how of Greeks, Indians and Babylonians was brought together, in the so-called “House of Wisdom”. Astronomy, medicine, chemistry, zoology and mathematics were also taught here.

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