History of Mathematics

Research 1: Ancient Numerical System

Almost every culture both past and present has had the need for numerical representation. 
It is not entirely clear which was the first culture to invent a number system 
(Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, etc.) but the need was evident. 
One of the first and most famous number system is the Greek numbers. 
The Greek's used the letters of the alphabet to represent both numbers and operations. 
The following is an example of ancient number systems:
The numbers that are used in our society hasn't changed for approximately three hundred
years. One question that is still being tossed around by some mathematicians is:
"Approximately every two to three hundred years the visual representation of the
numbers has changed. Will there be another change to the way society write numbers?"

Pls watch this video first before starting on the project task. 

This project is a joint mathematics and social studies activity.

The grouping will be as follows:
Group 1: Index no. 1,2,3
Group 2: Index no. 4,5,6
Group 3: Index no. 7,8,9 
Group 4: Index no. 10,11,12
Group 5: Index no. 13,14,15
Group 6: Index no. 16,17,18
Group 7: Index no. 19,20,21
You are to conduct a research into one of the following ancient numerical systems:
  • Egyptian - Group 1
  • Babylonian - Group 2
  • Japanese - Group 3
  • Roman - Group 4
  • Mayan - Group 5
  • Arabic - Group 6
  • Hindu - Group 7
  • General ancient number systems*
In the research, focus on the following aspects:
1.    The historical development of the numerical system of the the ancient civilization assigned. 
a.    How was the numerical system developed?
b.    The social or cultural background behind the development of the system
        i.    Who developed the numerical system
        ii.    Why was it developed? 
   What function did it serve? 
(eg. Used in trading, education, communication etc)
2.    The number system
a.    Properties of the number system
       i.        Is there repetition of symbols used (looking from the historical 
                 perspective of ancient number systems
       ii.        What base is used in the system
       iii.        Is there a symbol for zero?
b.    Pictorial or symbolic representation of the various numbers (if any)
The objective of the poster is to educate someone about ancient numeration system. 
As such, your poster should be written for a reader with a knowledge level equivalent 
to that of someone in lower secondary but ignorant about your particular topic. 
Keep your topic narrowly focused. 
Feel free to go as far with this as you like! Present the researched information on an 
A4-size poster
Submit a printed copy as well as upload a copy to your Class Maths Blog.
The write-up should have the following information:
  • Numerical System of Ancient ______(civilisation chosen)
  • Name / Class / Index
  • Citation of sources used in your research
  • Brief History or description of numerical system pertaining to selected civilisation.
  • Pictorial Presentation of Numerical System
Suggested modes of presentation of content in the poster.
  • Article form (Report + Diagram)
  • Newsletter form with various headings
  • Comic Strip form
  • Diagrams and Descriptors
One class period will be allotted for introduction and groups’ discussion, 
but after-class time will be necessary to complete your research work and chart.
  • Half a period will be allotted for final discussion after evaluation by the teacher.
  • Refer to Appendix A for Presentation Criteria rubric

This rubric is meant to serve as a guide for pupils.

  • points _______
  • Does it grab people's attention?
  • Does it convey the subject of the project?
  • points _______
  • Is the issue clearly stated?
  • Does the project stick to one main issue?
Mathematical Accuracy 
  • points _______
  • Is the information necessary to understand the issue presented clearly?
  • Is the information accurate?
  • points _______
  • Is the information able to capture the viewers’ attention?
  • Is the selected mode/s of presentation effective in conveying the information?
  • Does the project grab the reader’s attention?
  • points _______
  • Does it exhibit elements of good design: appearance, readability, grammar, and spelling, proper background color selection.
  • Does it show clever use of mode of presentation in conveying the information?
  • points _______
  • What is the quality of the overall presentation/poster design?