Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by NCTM or The Math Forum.

Notice: We are no longer accepting new posts, but the forums will continue to be readable.

Topic: Non-Euclidean Arithmetic
Replies: 108   Last Post: Sep 13, 2012 3:39 PM

 Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
 kirby urner Posts: 3,690 Registered: 11/29/05
Re: Non-Euclidean Arithmetic
Posted: Sep 1, 2012 3:04 PM

On Fri, Aug 31, 2012 at 10:58 PM, Jonathan Crabtree
<sendtojonathan@yahoo.com.au> wrote:

<< snip >>

> Until now, multiplication itself has never been correctly defined for the rational numbers.
>
> Jonathan Crabtree
> 1st September 2012
>
> P.S. Think of a photocopying machine. You have one letter and you need four altogether. So what button do you press on the multiplication machine? Three! ie k-1 Press the four button and you end up with five.

This may be true, and we have had threads on "what is multiplication,
really?" quite a few times over the years, on this list.

My general position is it's no one thing with respect to objects in
general, yet you might say there's a strange attractor that keeps it
anchored to notions of inverse, associativity and multiplicative
identity.

In that respect, addition and multiplication are similar, with their
distinction so far coming down to choice of operator (commonly + and
*) and choice of representation for an identity element (commonly 0 vs
1).

to throw in, but likewise thrown in should be sets wherein
multiplication is defined, but not addition.

You can have one (multiply operation) and not the other (addition operation).

A good example is "permutations" as I described them earlier:

http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7876242 (mappings of
the set A-Z plus space to itself make a finite group to play with)

You'll have A * B -> C (closure), and every A * inverse(A) = 1, the
identity permutation, (A*B)*C == A*(B*C) associativity and in this
case commutativity. You'll have a group.

I think it's fine to introduce these little games of things that
"multiply" in a somewhat abstract sense, to build an appreciation for
the pattern.

We can write these little programs (functions) and noodle the objects
interactively, programmatically.

We don't just stare at inert symbols on paper on wood pulp. The
symbols have a life in an interpreted environment.

An advantage to this approach, in complement to any "multiplication as
repeated addition" meme, is that when we spiral back through division
and subtraction, we already have a strongly developed notion of
"inverse" (relates to "identity element"). That (3/4) / (1/2) is
"syntactic sugar" for (3/4) * (2/1) is obvious i.e. "to divide by" is
"to multiply by the multiplicative inverse of" just as "to subtract

Making these connections, thanks to experiments with unary and binary
operators within interactive computer game like environments is going
to result in a more sophisticated appreciation for algebra in the
class of 2020 etc.

As soon as + and * (addition and multiplication) make an appearance
with respect to the same set (class or type of object), if we can link
them via the distributive property, which we can in a field, then we
can start up with the "repeated addition" meme -- before spiraling
back to powering.

Speaking of "math objects" and "class or type of object" is
deliberate, as we're connecting to the idea of "typed languages" of
the object-oriented variety especially.

Using operator overloading, we are able to give our own meanings to
the * and + operators -- part of what's driving this more abstract
algebraic approach is the our new-found ability to make it concrete.

Kirby

Date Subject Author
9/1/12 Jonathan J. Crabtree
9/1/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/2/12 kirby urner
9/3/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/3/12 kirby urner
9/3/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/4/12 kirby urner
9/4/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/4/12 kirby urner
9/5/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/5/12 Robert Hansen
9/6/12 kirby urner
9/1/12 kirby urner
9/1/12 Joe Niederberger
9/1/12 Wayne Bishop
9/1/12 Joe Niederberger
9/2/12 Robert Hansen
9/3/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/3/12 Robert Hansen
9/5/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/3/12 Joe Niederberger
9/3/12 Robert Hansen
9/5/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/3/12 Joe Niederberger
9/3/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/4/12 Joe Niederberger
9/5/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/5/12 Joe Niederberger
9/5/12 Robert Hansen
9/5/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/5/12 Joe Niederberger
9/5/12 kirby urner
9/5/12 Joe Niederberger
9/5/12 Robert Hansen
9/5/12 Joe Niederberger
9/6/12 Joe Niederberger
9/8/12 Robert Hansen
9/7/12 Jonathan J. Crabtree
9/8/12 kirby urner
9/8/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/10/12 kirby urner
9/10/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/10/12 kirby urner
9/10/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/10/12 kirby urner
9/8/12 Robert Hansen
9/8/12 kirby urner
9/8/12 Robert Hansen
9/8/12 kirby urner
9/8/12 Joe Niederberger
9/8/12 Jonathan J. Crabtree
9/9/12 kirby urner
9/8/12 Clyde Greeno @ MALEI
9/8/12 Jonathan J. Crabtree
9/8/12 Jonathan J. Crabtree
9/8/12 Joe Niederberger
9/8/12 Joe Niederberger
9/9/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/9/12 Robert Hansen
9/9/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/9/12 Robert Hansen
9/9/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/9/12 Robert Hansen
9/10/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/10/12 Wayne Bishop
9/10/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/9/12 Joe Niederberger
9/10/12 Clyde Greeno @ MALEI
9/9/12 Joe Niederberger
9/9/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/9/12 Wayne Bishop
9/9/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/10/12 Wayne Bishop
9/10/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/9/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/9/12 Joe Niederberger
9/10/12 Clyde Greeno @ MALEI
9/10/12 Joe Niederberger
9/10/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/10/12 Joe Niederberger
9/10/12 Clyde Greeno @ MALEI
9/10/12 Joe Niederberger
9/11/12 Joe Niederberger
9/11/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/11/12 kirby urner
9/11/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/11/12 kirby urner
9/11/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/11/12 kirby urner
9/12/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/12/12 kirby urner
9/12/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/12/12 kirby urner
9/13/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/13/12 kirby urner
9/13/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/11/12 Joe Niederberger
9/11/12 Joe Niederberger
9/11/12 kirby urner
9/11/12 Joe Niederberger
9/11/12 Joe Niederberger
9/11/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/11/12 israeliteknight
9/11/12 Joe Niederberger
9/12/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/12/12 kirby urner
9/12/12 Paul A. Tanner III
9/12/12 kirby urner
9/11/12 Jonathan J. Crabtree