Mathematics of Far East Asia

1350 BC - 1850 AD

An interactive gallery of the mathematical traditions of East Asia spanning over 3000 years.

Magic Squares 洛书

Earliest reference to the Luo Shu magic square.

Oracle Bones

Earliest evidence of the decimal system used in ancient China.

Pythagorean Theorem 勾股求弦

According to the Zhou Bi Suan Jing, Zhou Gong consulted Shang Gao on astronomical matters. In one conversation, the Pythagorean theorem was mentioned as a way to calculate the length of a gnomon's shadow.

Counting Rods 筹算

Counting rods were well in use around this time.

Multiplication Table

Earliest base ten multiplication table found on unearthed bamboo strips.

Mo Jing 墨经

The Mo Jing is a philosophical text detailing the Mohist research of logic, ethics, geometry, optics, and mechanics.

Mo Di 墨翟

Chinese philosopher, craftsman, engineer.

Hui Shi 惠施

Chinese philosopher famous for his ten paradoxes.

Gaussian Elimination 方程术

There is textual evidence that the method of solving simultaneous linear equation with arbitrarily many unknowns was fully developed by this time.

Jiu Zhang Suan Shu 九章算术

A collection of 246 problems was officially finalized in this year. The work probably included mathematics known since the Warring States Period (476 - 221 BC).

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