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SUMMARY:By counting rods or by abacus? The practices of Chinese mathematic
ians’ computations of multiplication and division in the 13th-15th centu
ry - GUO Shirong (Institute for the History of Science and Technology，In
ner Mongolia Normal University)
DTSTART;VALUE=DATE-TIME:20190624T143000Z
DTEND;VALUE=DATE-TIME:20190624T153000Z
UID:https://talks.ox.ac.uk/talks/id/b9a17e55-ec14-4a25-94e7-86d49a91f750/
DESCRIPTION:The counting rods were applied to computations in the ancient
Chinese mathematics and a set of computation rules\, procedures and expres
sions were formulated. In mathematical writings，however\, the procedures
were usually described by words\, instead of using the expressions of the
counting rods. Until the 13th century\, the expressions of the counting r
ods became popular in mathematical writings\, meanwhile\, the computation
using abacus developed rapidly. The abacus computation was impacted greatl
y by those of the rods counting. Mathematicians represented by Yang Hui of
the 13th century designed various new calculation procedures\, treated co
mputation in new methods\, or compiled calculation pithy formula\, to impr
ove the computing speed or simplify computing procedure. All these treatm
ents of computations were helpful to the development of abacus techniques.
There was a period of parallel calculation using both the computation too
ls. During the period\, whether the computation was carried on by counting
rods or by abacus\, the process was still described in the terms and expr
essions of counting rods in writing mathematical works. It made it some di
fficult for historians to distinguish computations between the rods and th
e abacus. \n \nAnalyzing the computation procedures from the background o
f mathematical practice is helpful to solve the problem. Whether it is a r
od calculation or an abacus calculation\, when calculating multiplication
and division\, especially，applying the so-called ‘addition’ for mult
iplication and ‘subtraction’ for division，there will be cases that a
number more than 10 appears in one digit. Analyzing how a mathematician t
reating those cases in his practice is important for us to understanding h
is computation tool. In the present presentation\, we will analyze the pro
cedures and expressions of multiplications and divisions in several mathem
atical works arranged from the 13th to 15th centuries\, so as to distingui
sh the computations between counting rods and abacus.\n\nSpeakers:\nGUO Sh
irong (Institute for the History of Science and Technology，Inner Mongoli
a Normal University)
LOCATION:History Faculty (Lecture Theatre)\, George Street OX1 2RL
URL:https://talks.ox.ac.uk/talks/id/b9a17e55-ec14-4a25-94e7-86d49a91f750/
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DESCRIPTION:Talk:By counting rods or by abacus? The practices of Chinese m
athematicians’ computations of multiplication and division in the 13th-1
5th century - GUO Shirong (Institute for the History of Science and Techno
logy，Inner Mongolia Normal University)
TRIGGER:-PT1H
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