*Science and Its Times*. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.

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## Background

In the years after 1450 European mathematics flourished, yet during the previous 850 years almost all mathematical developments occurred in other parts of the world. In Medieval Europe the religious and philosophical works of the ancient Greeks and Romans were still preserved, but many mathematical texts had been lost. Yet while European mathematics suffered through the Dark Ages, elsewhere in the world mathematical innovation continued. In India mathematics was well advanced by A.D. 700, especially in trigonometry. The use of the zero helped improve the Hindu numerical system, which was the basis for the numbers we use today. Chinese mathematicians developed a decimal system and discovered solutions for a number of cubic and quadratic equations. The Arab regions of the Middle East were geographically fortunate, having easy access to Babylonian, Greek, and Indian mathematics. Arab mathematicians assembled, and then developed, a wide range of knowledge. However, while these...

This section contains 1,408 words(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page) |