Math Prof. Quoted by 'National Geographic' | St. Lawrence University

Math Prof. Quoted by 'National Geographic'

In article in National Geographic regarding a study arguing the possibility of an ancient Mesopotamian tablet being the earliest contribution to trigonometry, Duncan Melville, professor of mathematics and an expert in Mesopotamian math, says, if true, would redifine the history of mathematics.

"Apart from the column headings, the tablet just consists of columns of numbers, and this invites a great deal of purely mathematical speculation," Melville told National Geographic. "Some of the different interpretations for construction of the tablet are mathematically equivalent and so just having the output on the tablet does not tell you much about the process used to generate that output."

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