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This section contains 476 words(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page) |

Dunham begins with a brief overview of early mathematics. Since the dawn of agriculture humans have had a grasp of measurement and basic geometric concepts like area. The early Egyptians know some of the properties of specific shapes such as right triangles with sides of 3, 4 and 5 units but do not develop the higher theories that examine these relationships.

The first of the ancients to ask "why" is Thales, who lives in Asia Minor around 600 BC. Almost all that is known about Thales comes from later mathematicians who refer to his theories. After Thales, Pythagoras is the next major figure in Greek mathematics. Pythagoras is attributed with proving what is now called the Pythagoraean Theorem, which holds that for any right triangle the square of the diagonal side is equal to the sum of the squares of the two legs (a² = b² + c²). With Pythagoras...

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This section contains 476 words(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page) |