Preparing for Test 1
October 1, 2004
The test will be given in class on Friday, October 1st. You may
bring a calculator and a 3" x 5" index card (both sides) with any information
you wish written on it. The test will consist of multiple choice
questions, partial credit questions, and essay questions. You will
have some choice of which questions to answer.
You can choose to do one or both of the following essays on the test
(however, you must do at least one). Do the appropriate readings
and, if you wish, make notes on your index card.
Reviewing for the test
A 15th century French writer called zero ``a sign which creates confusion
and difficulties'' (Menninger, 1957; p. 134 of your course packet).
More historical evidence of difficulties with zero is detailed in p.
123-4 and 134-5 in your couse packet,. Explain, with examples, what
confusions were caused by zero. Given these difficulties, why was
zero eventually adopted?
Read p. 1-21 in your packet. What is ethnomathematics, as defined
by Marcia Ascher in the introduction to her book Ethnomathematics?
Give specific examples of ethnomathematical topics we discussed in class.
What are the differences and similarities between ethnomathematics and
Joseph's definition of ``modern mathematics?'' Is ethnomathematics really
mathematics? Give reasons for your answer.
Anything from the readings, class notes, quizzes, and homework assignments
is fair game. I expect you to know Egyptian numbers, Babylonian
numbers, Roman numbers, and gubar numbers (and, obviously, Hindu-Arabic
numbers!), but you don't have to know symbols and words for other systems.