THE PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND
The history of science and math are interrelated. The people who shaped science are also important in mathematics. As in science, the early history of mathematics is sketchy. We know that the lunar and solar cycles were counted by the Babylonians and Egyptians in an organized fashion. Early Indian mathematicians are credited with many astronomical observations as well as the beginning of algebra. The use of decimals and numbers with 9 figures and a zero are also attributed to the Indians. Their work spread to the Arabic nations, where the term Arabic numbers (compared to Roman numerals) first emerged. The Chinese are credited with the inventions of spills and abacus, which are both counting machines. Multiplications tables were used at least from the 6th century BC. Chinese mathematics was used for the solutions of practical problems in engineering and business. Although the Chinese had advanced algebra, western scholars seemingly were ignorant of much of this work. Starting in the 6th century BC, Greek mathematicians documented many discoveries in geometry. The Greeks' conception of numbers as the elements of all things and of the heavens made mathematical relationships a respected field of study. The philosophy of Pythagoras, Plato and Aristotle reflected the almost "god-like" respect the Greeks gave to the interrelationship of numbers with the universe. Mathematics is a tool of science, but understanding why mathematical formulas work is a science all by itself. (http://msnucleus.org) According to W.T. Bridgman, “Mathematics is the language of Science”. This is why in the curriculum of the Elementary, problem solving was also taught in the Science subject. It involves topics like measuring the speed of a moving object, finding the acceleration, determining the mechanical advantage, etc. These topics are already introduced in the fifth grade that will prepare the pupils in solving problem in...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document