which numbers count?
If you want to come up with a machine that computes, (a computer,) you need numbers with which to compute. Before we had the numbers we know and love, several other numbering systems were tried. Today we take a look at some of them and how they worked, along with their historical context.
Here is a video on old number systems.
Here’s an article about many different ancient numbering systems, including examples.
Here’s an article on the ancient Egyptian numbers, including some little math problems you can quiz yourself with.
And here’s an article on Heron of Alexandria, a first century scholar whose writings show us what sort of mechanics were understood by the ancient world.