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Numeral Systems and Representing Numbers


Date: 10/30/98 at 14:14:19
From: Sean Widra
Subject: The Number 8

Dear Dr. Math:

I have a math project. I have to research the number 8. I have to show 
how it is written in different ways. I found the number written in 
different languages, and how people would count on their fingers. Other 
than 8 and VIII how else is it written?   

I also need to know the origin of 8. I am trying to find sites on 
numerology. My math project is to create a poster with the number 8 
shown in as many ways as possible, and to write a paper showing how I 
researched it. Any help you give would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,  
Sean


Date: 10/30/98 at 18:25:02
From: Doctor Rick
Subject: Re: The Number 8

Hi, Sean. I have some Web pages to show you. I can really get into 
this topic!

This page shows how the Babylonians wrote numbers. It doesn't really 
get interesting until you get above 60, or at least above 10.

   http://www.phys.virginia.edu/classes/109N/lectures/babylon.html   

This page shows Egyptian mathematics:

   http://eyelid.ukonline.co.uk/ancient/numbers.htm   

Here is a page about the Mayan numeral system. See if you notice a
similarity between their 8 and the Roman 8:

   http://www.astro.uva.nl/~michielb/maya/math.html   

The Greeks used letters to represent digits. Their 8 was the same as 
their letter eta, which looks like our letter H. In Hebrew the same 
method was used. You can find the Hebrew letter that stood for 8 here:

   http://www.amerisoftinc.com/hebletr1.htm   

Our symbol for 8 came from India by way of the Arabs. Here is a page 
that shows the early Indian numerals and the present-day Arabic 
numerals, along with other versions in between:

   http://www.islamicity.org/mosque/ihame/Ref6.htm   

Have fun with your project! Let me know if you find any other numeral
systems.

- Doctor Rick, The Math Forum
  http://mathforum.org/dr.math/   
    
Associated Topics:
Elementary Math History/Biography
Elementary Number Sense/About Numbers
Elementary Projects
High School History/Biography
High School Projects
Middle School History/Biography
Middle School Number Sense/About Numbers

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