## Day 11: Problems from RMP

### Summary

Discussion of Egyptian mathematics, using examples from
RMP.
We will study a number of probems from the Rhind Mathematical
Papyrus
to understand the techniques used in MK mathematics and compare the
Egyptian
approach with that of OB Mesopotamia. There are distinct
differences
in approach and organization, as well as the differences we saw in how
arithmetic
is performed, but there are also some important similarities.
Note
that in all the problems, the goal is to determine some number, just as
it
is in Old Babylonian mathematics, although this goal may be disguised
by
the format of the problems. We will also discuss Egyptian
metrology.

### Reading

J. Ritter, 'Measure for Measure' in M. Serres (ed.) *A
History of Scientific Thought*, 44-72.

R.J. Gillings, *Mathematics in the Time of the Pharoahs*,
Chapters 13
and 17.

### Handout

RMP Problems

### Homework

Do the exercises from the RMP problems handout.

On to Day 12.

Up to Ancient
and
Classical Mathematics

Last modified: 3 October 2005
Duncan
J.
Melville

Comments to dmelville@stlawu.edu