Comparison and Contrast of Mathematics in India and China Essay

Comparison and Contrast of Mathematics in India and China Essay

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The period 213 BCE to 1425 CE, are characterized by the beginning of a gradual ceasing of the isolation of China and India to the outside world. Due to natural boundaries (mountains, seas and deserts) providing the isolation, mathematics in India and China were almost developed independently during the ancient era. It was the Silk Road, began during the Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE), that opened up communication between the West and Southern and Eastern Asia. With this communication, cultures and ideas moved, including mathematical knowledge, allowing undiscovered concepts to enter and discovered concepts to be leave, developed elsewhere and re-enter further advanced. One thing we can be sure is that by the opening of our period, mathematics has already been discovered in both places and were well underway in development.
The first year of the period, 213 BCE, is infamous for Emperor Shi-huang’s command for the burning of all books not officially sanctioned in the Qin Empire. As a result, it is difficult to obtain precise record of mathematics during the Qin dynasty. However, we do see some of the greatest endeavours in human history in the building of the terracotta army’s tomb and the Great Wall of China, both of which require advanced mathematical knowledge, especially geometrical formulas, to architect. This proves that constructional mathematics reached a new unparalleled height in the world at the time. In the attempt to unite the conquered states under the Qin empire, standard weight system was also implemented empire-wide. Meanwhile in India, we see what is referred to as Jaina mathematics period. Whereas ancient time Indian mathematics was mostly intended to build for religious and ritualistic purposes, Jaina mathema...


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...Retrieved from University of St. Andrews Web site: http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/HistTopics/Nine_chapters.html
O'Connor, J. J., & Robertson, E. F. (2003, December). Overview of Chinese mathematics. Retrieved from University of St. Andrews Web site: http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/HistTopics/Chinese_overview.html
Robertson, J. J. (2003, Dec). Chinese overview. Retrieved from University of St. Andrews: http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/HistTopics/Chinese_overview.html
Rockhill, W. W. (1884). In The Life of the Buddha and The Early History of His Order (p. 211). London: Trubner & Co.
Shen, K., Crossley, J. N., & Lun, A. W.-C. (1999). The nine chapters on the mathematical art; Companion and commentary. Beijing.
Straffin, P. D. (1998). Liu Hui and the First Golden Age of Chinese Mathematics. Mathematics Magazine Vol. 71, No. 3, pp. 163-181.

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