Thursday, August 14, 2008

Decimal or Base Ten or Denary Numeral System

Decimal is a base (or radix) 10 numeral system. Meaning, the system has ten symbols or numerals to represent any quantity. These symbols are called Digits. The Hindu-Arabic numeric system and Chinese counting rods system are the two systems that required no more than ten symbols. Decimal numeral system is the most commonly used numeral system perhaps because humans have ten digits over both hands.

We would look into the Hindu-Arabic system as it is commonly used all around the world. The ten symbols are 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and 0. The two great Indian mathematicians could be given credit for developing the Hindu-Arabic system. They are Aryabhatta of Kusumapura who lived during the 5th century developed the place value notation and Brahmagupta a century later introduced the symbol zero. Though the concept of zero has been around for a long time, Indians gave the symbol for zero '0' which is used today.

Many system follow some way to represent the quantities by using finite number of symbols. That some way in this decimal number system is weightage. Each digit in a number is given weightage depending on its position. Eg on how a number is represented in a decimal number system is show below.
As we move towards left from the decimal point, the weight given to the digit increases by a factor of 10. As we towards right from the decimal point, the weight given to the digit decreases by a factor of 10.

So 17.591 can be expanded as 1x101 + 7 x 100 + 5 x 10-1 + 9 x 10-2+ 1 x 10-3 which is equal to 17.591

There are many systems similar to decimal system with different bases. Hence if two or more systems are used simultaneously, to distinguish what numeral system is used to represent a number we use the form something like this 17.59110. This indicates that 17.591 is expressed in base 10.

Since weights are given to the digits in the number, it is one of the positional or place value numeral system.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Numbers, Number system and Numeral system

A Number is an abstract object, tokens of which are symbols, used for counting and measuring quantities. These symbols which represent the number are called numerals.

1,2,3 etc of the Arabic Numeral System,
I, II, III etc of the Roman Numeral System are examples of symbols alias numeral.

However in common usage the word number is used for both the abstract object and the symbol

The realization that two apples and two oranges have something in common was a breakthrough in human thought that lead to the discovery of numbers. In addition to recognizing how to count physical objects, prehistoric peoples also recognized how to count abstract quantities, like time — days, seasons, years. Arithmetic calculations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), naturally followed them.

A Number system is a set of numbers, together with one or more operations, such as addition or multiplication. In other words, Numbers can be classified into sets, called number systems, like Natural numbers, Real numbers etc.

A Numeral system (or system of numeration) is a mathematical notation for representing numbers of a given set by symbols in a consistent manner. Arabic numeral system is the most commonly used numeral system. Other systems like Roman numeral system, Maya numeral system etc which are numeral systems by culture and Decimal, Binary, Octal numeral systems etc are positional notional or place value notation systems.

Numeral systems are sometimes called number systems, but that name is misleading, as it could refer to different systems of numbers, such as the system of real numbers, the system of complex numbers etc.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

How do I learn Maths ?

Maths - one of the most important subject, that comes with you throughout your life. The only subject which is independent of other subjects. All other subjects receives help from this unique one. Yet most people think that it is the toughest of all subjects.

To me, the subject I like the most is Maths. Of course, most people score more marks in the subject they like and most like the subject in which they score more. Whatever you do with interest, you will succeed in it. So first thing is to develop interest towards it. It is another subject like Physics or Chemistry or English or whatever.

How to prepare for it ? Maths is not a subject to study like other subjects. Other subjects is more of theory whereas Maths is analytical. So you should not train by-hearting Maths. Practise makes a man perfect. So work out as many problems as you can. More important find out shortcuts to solve problems. This will help you save time, and will also make you stand unique among others. Following are some tips that you can follow to excel in Maths.

1) When there is some formula, learn to derive it first. Know what it is the purpose of the formula. When to apply it? What data you will be needing? This will help you to alter the formula here and there to match the question you have.

2) You don't need to keep too much formulas in mind. Most formulas are inter-related. With one or two steps, you can derive at the required formula if you know some basics formulas in each chapter.

3) There are some cases (especially in Choose and proofs) , where we can start from the solution rather than the question. Though it is not a good practice, it saves time for you.

4) When you prepare notes in your class room, don't write all the steps. When you look at your notes in the future, you will question what I have done here, and you will remember the step better. If you write all the steps in the notes, you will skid through your notes and there are chances that you forget things. When learning a problem, make note of important steps alone, eg I have to make a substitution at this step.

5) Do mind calculations for small steps and skip unnecessary steps. Like 5+(3*5)=5+15=20. Here second step is unnecessary.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Meaning, Etymology of Mathematics


1) is a science that deals with the study of measurement, properties, and relationships of quantities and sets, using numbers and symbols.

2) is the systematic treatment of magnitude, relationships between figures and forms, and relations between quantities expressed symbolically.

3) a science (or group of related sciences) dealing with the logic of quantity and shape and arrangement

Origin: 1350-1400

From Middle English mathematik, from Old French mathematique, from Latin mathēmatica, from Greek mathēmatikē (téchné)

The word "mathematics" (Greek: μαθηματικά or mathēmatiká) comes from the Greek μάθημα (máthēma), which means learning, study, science, and additionally came to have the narrower and more technical meaning "mathematical study", even in Classical times. Its adjective is μαθηματικός (mathēmatikós), related to learning, or studious, which likewise further came to mean mathematical. In particular, μαθηματικὴ τέχνη (mathēmatikḗ tékhnē), in Latin ars mathematica, meant the mathematical art.

Latin mathematica was a plural noun, which is why mathematics has an -s at the end even though we use it as a singular noun. Thus in English, however, the noun mathematics takes singular verb forms. It is often shortened to math in English-speaking North America and maths elsewhere.