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Joseph Mazur: Enlightening Symbols

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Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 10:30am

The symbols we now use for numbers evolved very slowly over the centuries. The concept of using a zero took even longer. Most of the mathematical symbols we take for granted today, like an equals sign or the sign for a square root were not invented till the 16th Century and afterwards. Yet Ancient Egyptians wrote down algebra problems and many ancient cultures had to solve complex math problems in order to do business. How did they do it? For some of the answers, tune in tonight to Inquiry. Our guest is award-winning author JOSEPH MAZUR and we discuss he deeply fascinating new book ENLIGHTENING SYMBOLS: A SHORT HISTORY OF MATHEMATICAL NOTATION AND ITS HIDDEN POWERS. 

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