August 1, 2024

Who invented maths? Credit goes to the Sumerians for creating the first counting system. Scientists generally agree that people have widely used fundamental calculations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division for over 4,000 years. Several facts and pieces of evidence about mathematics exist from before mathematicians made their discovery, so no single person can claim the invention of mathematics.

The word “mathematics” comes from the Greek term “mathema,” which means “knowledge.” Greek mathematicians receive credit for the advancement of mathematics. Mathematicians from around the world have contributed to various aspects of the field, demonstrating that not just one person created mathematics. Although no single person can claim the title of inventor of mathematics, many frequently celebrate Archimedes as the father of mathematics.

The framing of the question as “When was math discovered” rather than “when was it invented” implies that math may not have been created but rather uncovered and understood, similar to physical laws. Many believe that mathematics existed before humans discovered and applied it. Often, people acknowledge that ancient societies such as those in Greece, India, China, Egypt, and Mesopotamia pioneered the use of mathematical concepts. Therefore, one could argue that humans did not invent mathematics; they discovered it, akin to other scientific fields.

The “Father of Mathematics” title is a respectful nod to those intellectual giants whose work laid the bedrock for modern mathematical understanding. However, attributing such a monumental field to one individual or even a group can be misleading. So, what is math? Mathematics is a river fed by numerous tributaries from various epochs and regions.

Euclid, the ancient Greek mathematician, is frequently credited with this title due to his influential work, “Elements.” This thirteen-volume work of art established the benchmark for mathematical rigor and proof while methodically presenting the knowledge of the time. Is it accurate to refer to him or anyone else as the only father of mathematics?

There was no one creator or single point of origin for the concept of mathematics. Rather, mathematics originated on its own in several prehistoric societies worldwide. Early humans employed fundamental mathematical concepts to count, measure, and arrange their daily activities—such as keeping track of time, figuring out crop yields, and measuring distances.

Number | Arabic-Indic | Eastern Arabic-Indic (Persian and Urdu) | Devanagari (Hindi) | Chinese | Tamil | Roman | Brahmi (Indian) |

0 | ٠ | ۰ | ० | 〇 | ௦ | N/A | 𑁦 |

1 | ١ | ۱ | १ | 一 | ௧ | I | 𑁧 |

2 | ٢ | ۲ | २ | 二 | ௨ | II | 𑁨 |

3 | ٣ | ۳ | ३ | 三 | ௩ | III | 𑁩 |

4 | ٤ | ۴ | ४ | 四 | ௪ | IV | 𑁪 |

5 | ٥ | ۵ | ५ | 五 | ௫ | V | 𑁫 |

6 | ٦ | ۶ | ६ | 六 | ௬ | VI | 𑁬 |

7 | ٧ | ۷ | ७ | 七 | ௭ | VII | VII |

8 | 8 | ۸ | ٨ | 八 | ۸ | VIII | ८ |

9 | 9 | ۹ | ٩ | 九 | ۹ | IX | ९ |

It represents the mathematical practices of the people living in ancient Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) from the era of the Sumerians until the advent of Christianity. The earliest written records of mathematical activity come from the Sumerians, who were the first to form a civilization in Mesopotamia around 3000 BCE, creating an elaborate measurement system. By 2500 BCE, they were inscribing clay tablets with division and geometry problems, as well as multiplication charts. Records of Babylonian numerals also originate from this period.

The most comprehensive piece of Egyptian mathematical literature is the Rhind papyrus, which dates back to around 1650 BCE but likely replicates an older text from the Middle Kingdom (2000-1800 BCE). Named after its scribe Ahmes, it functions as a textbook for mathematics and geometry. Beyond formulas for calculating areas and methods for multiplication, division, and managing unit fractions, it demonstrates knowledge of composite and prime numbers, arithmetic, and geometry. It also includes methods for resolving simple linear equations and calculating arithmetic and geometric progressions.

Unlike earlier civilizations that relied on inductive reasoning from observations, Greek mathematicians employed deductive reasoning. They used strict proofs and logic based on definitions and axioms to validate their findings, possibly drawing inspiration from Babylonian and Egyptian math, although the degree of influence remains debated.

Greek mathematical principles were revitalized during the Roman era. Basic math played a crucial role in devising the Roman calendar, which initially had 356 days with an intercalary year. Romans excelled in applying math for financial oversight and tax collection for the Treasury.

The earliest Chinese mathematical records are the Tsinghua Bamboo Slips from around 305 BC, showcasing the first known decimal multiplication table. Chinese math is distinguished by ‘rod numerals,’ a decimal system using unique symbols for numbers 1-10 and additional symbols for tens’ powers.

Religious texts from the 8th century B.C. to the 2nd century A.D. contain the surviving Indian mathematical writings, which detail altar construction in various shapes and present advanced concepts such as the Pythagorean theorem, precise calculations of square roots, and lists of Pythagorean triples.

The preservation and advancement of mathematics are often attributed to the Islamic world. In the 9th century, the Islamic Empire, spanning from Persia to parts of India, made significant mathematical contributions. While Arabic was the primary language for mathematical texts, it was not Arabs but scholars like the Persian mathematician Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi who made notable advancements, including works on Hindu-Arabic numerals and algebraic methods.

Often encapsulated in symbols, numbers, and equations, this about mathematics is more than just an abstract discipline. It is a language, a logic tool, and a way to model and understand the universe’s many complexities. The essence of mathematics is deeply rooted in its utility and profound impact on micro and macro scales. If you are wondering what basic mathematics means then this is it.

- Crystal symmetry is analyzed through algebraic methods.
- Trigonometric functions determine the distances among celestial entities.
- The advent of differential calculus has spurred significant breakthroughs across various fields of study.
- Cryptography employs mathematical principles.
- Computers operate entirely on mathematical foundations.
- Statistics are currently being utilized in Machine Learning and AI technologies.
- The progression of medical science has been significantly enhanced by mathematical applications.

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- The earliest counting system was developed by the Sumerians.
- It is believed by scientists that fundamental mathematical operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division date back over 4000 years.
- In ancient times, people performed calculations on clay tablets.
- The Mayan civilization utilized mathematics for astronomical studies and created calendars derived from astrological forecasts.
- The Greeks are recognized for their contributions to the development of algebra and geometry, which significantly propelled mathematical progress.

India has been the cradle for numerous eminent mathematicians who have significantly contributed to the field. Here are some notable Indian mathematicians:

Also revered as Bhaskaracharya, Bhaskara authored the seminal work ‘Siddhanta Siromani’. He proposed that dividing any number by zero results in infinity and that infinity added to any number remains infinity.

A celebrated astronomer and mathematician, Aryabhatta penned the texts ‘Aryabhatiyam’ and ‘Surya Siddhanta’. He asserted the year comprises 365 days and advanced the place value system.

A pivotal figure in modern Indian mathematics, S. Ramanujan’s legacy includes the Hardy-Ramanujan-Littlewood circle method, studies on Elliptic functions, Continued fractions, and the Roger-Ramanujan identities.

SN Bose is renowned for his contributions to quantum mechanics, including the Bose-Einstein condensate, Bose-Einstein statistics, and Bose-Einstein correlations.

Famously known as the ‘Human Computer’, Shakuntala Devi achieved fame for her ability to perform rapid and complex calculations mentally, earning multiple world records.

Who invented maths or Mathematics, a vast and profound discipline, that transcends mere numbers and symbols is still a mystery. Its roots, embedded deeply within early human endeavors, grew organically, fed by myriad cultures and minds across millennia. As we trace back the question “Who invented maths?”, we’re embarking on a journey through human civilization. This universal language, continuously improved and expanded, demonstrates humanity’s innate desire to comprehend, quantify, and influence the world.

The first civilization to create a numbering system was the Sumerians. Many scientists view addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division as some of the simplest and oldest mathematical operations, which people have utilized for more than 4,000 years.

Aryabhata, whose notable works include Aryabhaṭiya and Arya-Siddhanta, was considered the first of the prominent mathematician-astronomers of the classical age. He used letters to represent numbers and to state attributes in his work on the “place value system.”

Aryabhatta, a renowned mathematician and astronomer of his era, is credited for creating zero in India. Zero was a stand-in number for the renowned scientist. Aryabhatta brought zero to mathematics in the fifth century by introducing it to the decimal number system.

The full form of maths is Mathematics

“The Father of Mathematics” is the Greek mathematician Archimedes. He made a substantial contribution to the field’s development, earning him the title “Father of Mathematics.” A circle’s measuring computation is one of Archimedes’ most famous ideas.

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