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Babylonian geometry 2007-06-17
From marleen:
The following problem and the solution were found on a Babylonian tablet dating from about 2600BC:

60 is the Circumference, 2 is the perpendicular, find the chord.


Thou double 2 and get 4
Take 4 from 20, thou gettest 16
Square 16, thou gettest 256
Take 256 from 400, thou gettest 144

Whence the square root of 144, 12 is the chord.

Such is the procedure. Modern day mathematicians have reasoned that the Babylonian Mathematician who solved this problem assumed that the value of Pi is 3. By explaining in detail how the Babylonian Mathematician must have solved this problem, justify the reasoning of the modern mathematicians.
Answered by Stephen La Rocque.

60 seconds in a minute 2001-10-11
From Andy:
I am a fourth grade teacher. Yesterday my students asked "Why are there 60 seconds in a minute?" Which also led to 60 minutes in an hour? I have had trouble determining why the number 60? Any help would be appreciated.
Answered by Penny Nom.
The side length ratios of some triangles 2000-04-04
From Alexis Lockwood:
I am doing a project for my Math 30B class regarding the side length ratios of 45-45-90 degree and 30-60-90 degree triangles. I would really appreciate any assistance in answering the following questions, or even direction to an appropriate web site or resource on the matter.
Answered by Harley Weston.
Bases other than 10 1999-12-06
From Garret Magin:
We are doing a lesson on numbers of other bases than 10. We are working with binary, octal, and Hexadecimal. I was wondering what is used to represent number of different bases other then 16? Does it just continue on with the alphabet and if so what happens when you get to Z. It would be a help if you could answer this because it is really bugging me. And none of the math teachers at my school could let me know.
Answered by Claude Tardif and Patrick Maidorn.



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