Who Invented Multiplication?Date: 7 Jun 1995 14:13:26 -0400 From: cad05 Subject: question math Dear Math people, Who made up multiplication? Our names are Paula, Hakeem, and Gina. Our address is cad05@harker.harker.pvt.k12.ca.us. Sincerely, Paula, Hakeem, Gina Date: 8 Jun 1995 10:20:16 -0400 From: Dr. Ken Subject: Re: question math Hello there! Well, multiplication seems to be one of those things that was invented so darn long ago that we don't know exactly who made it up. In fact, to a certain degree even nonhuman animals can do multiplication; if there are six piles of coconuts and each pile has seven coconuts, a monkey would be pretty surprised if there were a thousand coconuts total. They expect about 42. Early humans probably knew how to multiply long before they decided to make it a formal system and call it something like our "multiplication" word. They may have seen how things line up in rows and columns like this: * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * and they decided to think about what was happening, just like you guys learned to see patterns in numbers when you learned to multiply. But the truth is that we don't really know who invented multiplication. Thanks for the question! -K |
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