Who invented math? Take the quiz!
We use these skills on a daily basis, but where did they come from? Take this quiz to find your "sum" knowledge of the topic. How well do you "function?" Do you know a lot or just a small "fraction?"start quiz
Question 1 of 20
Euclid collected theorems and proofs about polygons and angles -- creating Euclidean geometry -- in a book called The _________.
... Euclid's "The Elements" contains theorems that are still used in contemporary geometry.
Question 2 of 20
Galileo said that mathematics is the language of ________.
... Galileo is quoted as having said, "Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe."
Question 3 of 20
The earliest known evidence of mathematics is __________.
... There is evidence of early counting that dates as far back as 30,000 B.C.
Question 4 of 20
Diophantus of Alexandria is often called the father of _________.
... Diophantus, who lived during the 3rd century A.D., likely did not create algebra; rather, he refined what ancient Egyptians and Babylonians did almost 2000 years B.C.
Question 5 of 20
By the 3rd century B.C., people in India were using the number zero. At first it was represented by a blank space. This was confusing, so it was replaced by a/an _______.
... Indians used a dot to indicate zero. Simultaneously, Mayans were also using zero for their calendar.
Question 6 of 20
Hipparchus, who was instrumental in the development of trigonometry, was a mathematician and __________.
... During the 2nd century B.C., Hipparchus was a prominent astronomer. In the field of trigonometry, he wrote extensively on chords.
Question 7 of 20
Isaac Newton developed calculus to solve problems that geometry could not. It was originally called the ________.
... Calculus was originally "the method of series and fluxions." Newton and Gottfried Leibniz both created it, independent of each other, in the 1600s.
Question 8 of 20
In several ancient countries, mathematics was developed simultaneously. What did those countries have in common?
... The earliest developers of mathematics (the warm regions of China, Egypt, India, Mesopotamia), all had strong religious and political organizations.
Question 9 of 20
Plato believed that mathematics exists _________.
... Plato believed that the configuration of the universe was based on mathematics and that the level of understanding of the universe is reflected by our knowledge of mathematics.
Question 10 of 20
The fractions used by the ancient Egyptians differed from ours because ________.
... Ancient Egyptians primarily used "unit fractions," where a 1 is the numerator, except for 2/3 and 3/4.
Question 11 of 20
The oldest written records of mathematics were originally located in _____.
... Archaeologists have found 4,000-year-old Mesopotamian clay tablets with mathematical markings on them.
Question 12 of 20
The Greek Zeno is perhaps best remembered today because of his mathematical ________.
... Zeno created logic problems, such as the idea that any unit is infinitely divisible, making it essentially impossible to divide.
Question 13 of 20
Leonhard Euler, creator of modern trigonometry, popularized the symbol for _______.
... The Swiss Euler worked on a wide variety of mathematics (e.g., number theory, discrete mathematics) and created graph theory. He was responsible for the adoption of several symbols, including the one for pi.
Question 14 of 20
Although they used a wide variety of mathematics, the ancient Babylonians seemed to have had trouble with ________.
... Among other types of mathematics, Babylonians used square roots, fractions, and cubic equations, but there is evidence that their geometry was, at times, flawed.
Question 15 of 20
The eminent German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss (who worked on theories in such areas as prime numbers and congruence) was hampered in his youth by a lack of __________.
... Gauss initially attended Caroline College (1792-1795), but it had a limited library. Consequently, Gauss "discovered" many ideas in mathematics that had already been recognized and written down.
Question 16 of 20
Which 17th-century philosopher and mathematician invented analytic geometry?
... Rene Descartes created analytic geometry as an approach for imagining algebraic functions.
Question 17 of 20
The earliest known mathematics book, the Chinese Choupei, was interesting because it was formatted as __________.
... In approximately 1105 B.C., the text was composed as a series of dialogues, covering such topics as astronomy and measurement.
Question 18 of 20
It has been suggested that the brilliant mathematician and scientist Archimedes used an early form of __________ in his works.
... Archimedes may have used calculus before Newton and Leibniz, although his written work displayed geometric proofs.
Question 19 of 20
Magic squares, matrices where each column and row adds up to the same sum, probably originated in ancient China. They were first used for ________.
... Magic circles were religious symbols and later were used in charms and other forms of "magic."
Question 20 of 20
Aristotle, more a philosopher than mathematician, nonetheless made significant contributions to the way in which mathematics was viewed. For instance, when comparing potential infinity to actually infinity, he stated that ___________.
... Aristotle proposed that there is only a potential infinity, not an actual infinity.
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