The Mathematics Enthusiast


Ross Gustafson






Two of the great ancient civilizations were those of the Greeks and the Chinese. Many great works of art, architecture, philosophy and literature have been produced by both of these civilizations. When it comes to mathematics in the Western World, the Greeks have also been credited with many contributions to the field, especially geometry. Anyone who has completed a standard high school mathematical curriculum has been introduced to the names of Pythagoras, Euclid and Archimedes and their methods. Not as widely credited in the Western world are the mathematical contributions of the ancient Chinese civilization. An examination into Chinese mathematics reveals their deep understanding of mathematics, in some areas at a level greater than that of the Greeks. The Chinese civilization had their own mathematical greats, Liu Hui and Zu Chongzhi who were every bit as genius as their Greek counterparts. The purpose for mathematics and the techniques utilized by the two civilizations may differ, but the knowledge of the two civilizations is remarkably similar. This paper provides the reader a summary of the two civilizations works and mathematical philosophies and a comparison of the techniques used to determine π, proof of the right triangle theory, and the famous works of each civilization and the application of the civilizations mathematical knowledge in the science of land surveying.

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