Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

Charles Seife
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Filippo Brunelleschi was born in approximately what year?
(a) 1520.
(b) 1601.
(c) 1377.
(d) 1414.

2. What in graphical perspective refers to a point in the picture plane π that is determined by a line in space?
(a) A vanishing point.
(b) A black hole.
(c) A hyperbole.
(d) A vector.

3. In 1996 and 1997, the USS Yorktown was equipped with a network of how many dual 200 MHz Pentium Pro-based computers running Windows NT 4.0?
(a) 10.
(b) 35.
(c) 27.
(d) 14.

4. Ptolemy wrote what mathematical and astronomical treatise on the apparent motions of the stars and planetary paths?
(a) Physics.
(b) The Almagest.
(c) The Epicurean.
(d) The Golden Ratio.

5. Approximately when did Copernicus live?
(a) 1597-1652.
(b) 1473-1543.
(c) 1325-1342.
(d) 1401-1452.

Short Answer Questions

1. The ancient Babylonians had a number system based on what increment?

2. The ancient Egyptians are credited with creating what numerical system?

3. What refers to the mean obtained by taking the reciprocal of the arithmetic mean of the reciprocals of a set of nonzero numbers?

4. The author states in Chapter 3, “Nothing Ventured” that for the Indians, numerals without geometric significance gave birth to what field of mathematics?

5. Who founded the House of Wisdom that was established in Abbasid-era Baghdad, Iraq?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did mathematics and the concept of zero evolve in India through the 5th Century AD?

2. How are ancient Babylonian mathematics described in Chapter 1, “Nothing Doing”?

3. What mathematical properties of zero presented problems in the ancient world, according to the author in Chapter 1, “Nothing Doing”?

4. What mathematical developments was Pythagoras credited with in ancient Greece?

5. What mathematical advancements were made by the ancient Egyptians?

6. What discoveries did Archimedes make in the mathematical world?

7. How did Filippo Brunelleschi introduce the concept of zero to the Italian Renaissance?

8. What were Blaise Pascal’s theological beliefs? How was zero viewed in his beliefs?

9. What is the focus of the book, as established by the author in Chapter 0, “Null and Void”?

10. How did Aristotle approach the concept of zero, according to the author in Chapter 2, “Nothing Comes of Nothing”?

(see the answer keys)

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