We consider Egyptian mathematics from a postmodern perspective, by which we mean suspending judgement as to strict correctness in order to appreciate the genuine mathematical insights which they did have in the context in which they were working. In particular we show that the skill which the Egyptians possessed of obtaining the general case from a specific numerical example suggests a complete solution to the well-known, but hitherto not completely resolved, question of how the volume of the truncated pyramid given in Problem 14 of the Moscow papyrus was derived. We also point out some details in Problem 48 of the Rhind papyrus, on the area of the circle, which have previously gone unnoticed. Finally, since many of their mathematical insights have long been forgotten, and fall within the modern school syllabus, we draw some important lessons for contemporary mathematics education.
- How nice! Actually, I thought it might be you when I heard your name, Raymond (@MathEdnet)! We should talk tomorrow :-) 5 days ago
- Enjoyed rehearsing rehearsals at #Novemberkonferansen with @ekazemi today! Choral counting has a lot to it! 3 months ago
- J. Skott: «Generic example of generic proofs is Gauss: 1+2+3...+100=?» #Novemberkonferansen #playonwords 3 months ago
- Next up at #Novemberkonferansen is Jeppe Skott, who talks about Goldilocks, mathematical reasoning and proof. Nice combination :-) 3 months ago
- Listening to a very nice lecture on the importance of maths by Chris Budd ( people.bath.ac.uk/mascjb/) at #Novemberkonferansen 3 months ago