Place Value and Roman Numerals
Date: 10/23/2001 at 20:07:16 From: James A. Lazarus Subject: Importance of place value What is the importance of place value in relation to the value of a number? For example, where the number "2" is located in a number changes its valuation in the number, so how does one explain the importance of the place value in our number system? I have explored the realm of whole numbers, prime numbers, decimals, fractions, and mixed numbers, but cannot find anywhere to date, a cogent and readily ascertainable description or explanation of this phenomenon. Please explain so that I can address this problem with my class, as I cannot seem to describe this relation.
Date: 10/23/2001 at 23:16:26 From: Doctor Peterson Subject: Re: Importance of place value Hi, James. The way to demonstrate the importance of place value is to demonstrate how to multiply two Roman numerals. You will quickly find that you have to learn the same facts in several different guises. For example, rather than just learning that 3 x 4 = 13, you have to learn III x IV = XII XXX x XV = CXX CCC x CD = MCC Because Roman numerals have no place value, when you do the same thing in different digits, you have to say it different ways. With place value, you can continue this with numbers as large as you wish, just reusing the same ten symbols; Roman numerals stop at the thousands, because they would need two new symbols for every new decimal place you tack on. - Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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