Talk:Chinese mathematics

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How can "Chinese" "math" /not/ start with the Classic of Changes? :( (talk) 00:18, 16 October 2013 (UTC)


That early Chinese mathematics was linked to astronomy and the working of a calendar can now be proven correct, and found to originate from an extremely early period in human history, in fact a date for its origins could be placed back before the first farmers: As in myth, the maths contained in the I Ching and other texts originates from a simple binary code that fits together with natural integers 1 to 10, this formed 2 ancient maps of numerical direction called the Ho Tu and Lo Shu (Yellow and Lo River Maps) together with the 3 lined form of the Trigrams and the cubic structure of the Hexagrams. These numerical forms can be traced back through all the ages of Chinese written and pictoral history, but at this point a question as to whether these forms were just Chinese, or did they have a much wider forum throughout the world must be asked.

The binary code of light and dark (odd and even) numbers, when fitted together, form 5 squares of values related to a very long period of astromonical observations of at least 26,000 yrs: And, it was not until 200 yrs ago in our period of observation that we again came to know the exact length of Equinoxal Precession, so in our own historical terms we have only just gained the same level of knowledge as the Chinese and other ancient cultures had when the workings of the River Maps and the values of Heaven and Earth were first put in place. If we wish to understand the working of astronomical observations then we also must have the same depth, to know wisdom one must also be privy to the same knowledge, so until we had again come to know the exact period of years it takes for Precession (25,920 yrs) the essence of Chinese maths was beyond our comprehension.

To come to a full understanding of ancient texts they firstly had to be translated, and their symbolic usage of words then had to be penetrated, all before we could make any firm conclusions as to the true meanings behind them. This process is still ongoing and indeed open to much conjecture, but there is indeed progress in unravelling the myth and making them into a working reality. A good translation of many of the texts that we needed to compare has only existed since after the World War ll, especially with Wilhelm's work, and even in Wilhelm's first editions of the I Ching there was a bad error in the sequence of Trigrams in the Yellow River Map (Ho Tu), therefore the exact values of the cubes (Hexagrams) could not have been asertained from it. What had to be done was for the whole of the maths to be unravelled, and only then does the symbolic story of Chinese and other cultural myths open up to reveal their true underlying meanings - as the maths was used to form the historical events. All cultures world wide used the image of the sacred mountain and the image of Heaven (Sky) and Earth, and the rulers or sages were go-betweens conveying the laws of Heaven to the people of Earth.

In our own myths we had been told that the construction of the universe could be fitted into a set of 64 cubes, but as yet no one (as far as I can findout) has managed to do so (but hopefully the quest is now ended). Also, the fact that Chinese mathematics was dismissed as being wrong because it stated that 5 and not 4 squares was the correct means or measure for the earth, lead to the collapse of both western and Chinese interest in this tradition, and led to our present ignorance of this subject. With the unravelling of the working the River Maps and the putting together of the 5 squares they contain, the depth of the ancient understanding and putting in place of the workings of universal time (which our own divisions of time reflect) is now again being found. In the recent revelation of Chinese maths it can now be said that the Chinese were correct and the Church of Rome's belief in 4 squares was wrong. I have laid out general maths on the page for Magic Squares - Lo Shu (Square of Saturn ~Time) but the full workings of the maths and its symbolic story (the Laws of the Sacred Mountain) are soon to be published privately in full. Karen Solvig 19:06, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Was Pythagoras Chinese?[edit]

The title of the book previously cited is to suggest that Pythagoras was Chinese is not literal, as is explained here: [1]. Historically, such an occurrence would seem extremely unlikely. Pythagoras himself was born on Samos. --Xiao Li 04:07, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Versus Western Math[edit]

I actually fail to see how the pictures included are chinese equivalents of western math. just because a right triangle was drawn and the dimensions calculated does not mean there is a representation to deduce facts about right triangles. This part may require some cleanup, and more reliable sources by academics of mathematics. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rawringtiger (talkcontribs) 18:33, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

This article appears to be a compare and contrast versus western mathematics, with an eye towards noting areas where the Chinese accomplished something first. The first part of it means it isn't a survey of Chinese math, the other part that it is a cheerleading article for China that is not neutral in tone. Not one example of Western math predating Chinese math was given. What's more, it isn't clear that many of these techniques were anything more than practical rules of thumb. The Egyptians knew about the 3:4:5 right triangle for example. The unique contributions of the Greeks was proofs of general propositions. The Chinese were more concerned with practical application than theory, a major difference. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:22, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

    • Western mathemtic from Greek tradition was completely different from the traditional Chinese math. The strength of Greek math is in her

axiomic deduction system, which was the weakness of traditional Chinese math.;the strengh of traditional Chinese math was in place value decimal calculation, algorithm, algebra and algebraic geometry, those were the weakness of Greek mathematics. In computation the Chinese was far ahead of west hundreds of years, for example they used positiona decimal calculation a millenium earlier, they calcuated pi to 7 figure nine hundred years earlier, they discovered 355/133 as the good approximation of pi six hundred years earlier then the west, they used sophisticated triple, quadruple triangularion suvey technique nearly one thousand years ahead of the west, they discovered so call Horner method for solving high order equation six hundred years earlier. At medieval times, while the Greek math declined, the traditional math in Chinese reached its zenith. In short, the Greek tradition of axiomic deduction and the Chinese tradition of algorithmic computation formed two indispensible pillars of world mathematics.In the real world to this day, most problem cannot be solved merely theoretically, in many problems still have no close form solution, must resort to brute force computer simulation. It is a mistake to put only theory on the pedestral and look down on practical calculation, otherwise why we need supercomputers ?--Gisling (talk) 09:24, 26 April 2010 (UTC).

Comparing the Greek axiomatic proof system with Chinese knowledge of combinatorics/algorithms on a 1:1 basis doesn't seem adequate and alotting them an equal share in the field of mathematics even sounds a bit POV (according to whom is this the case?). The axiomatic proof system is a foundation for Greek (and modern) math, not just a mere category of math that the Greeks happened to excel at. This axiomatic proof system went beyond just math, it was also used by the Greeks in philosophy (Plato) and in mechanics/physics (Archimedes), it's kind of like a version of the scientific method for non-experimentative branches of knowledge. In math, the Greeks used this method to their fullest for geometry (Euclid's Elements), so if there is a need for a direct comparison, then it would make more sense to compare Chinese knowledge in combinatorics/algorithms with Greek knowledge in geometry. Either that, or simply stating that Chinese mathematicians excelled at applied math while the Greeks excelled at theoretical math. (talk) 14:06, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Differential and Integral Calculus?[edit]

This article is full of handwaving Needham crap. Just look at the references. Give directions to the actual source materials, which Needham was no stickler about. His latter day disciples use him as the platform on which to fabricate anything they think the Needham vapors will enshroud. Next thing you know, these folks will be claiming the fundamental theorem of calculus first appeared in some old Chinese texts that were all burned by some crazy emperor. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:17, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

The actual articles for those topics tell you more about how developed Chinese math were in those fields. For example in calculus, they only understood method of exhaustion, which barely scrapes the surface of calculus. --Voidvector (talk) 06:11, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

The article for proof that the Chinese understood Calculus can be traced back to their understanding of Mercator Projection...which they did.

Total BS.

I disagree ))(User talk:ah_then123) Chinese usage of Projections are several.. inclusive of cylindrical projection in her map drawing. Recently, an ancient tomb with inscribed world map was found.. Several mathematical techniques were discovered as well. I dont suppose just because something was thought to be discovered by the West and then suddenly. one finds that hey.. that was also discovered in the east.. will discredit the spirit of discovery in the two places. You can check it out.. there are several advanced mathematics discovered by the chinese not found or discovered by the west. Egypt founded 3-4-5.. as was pointed out.. but the same principle was also discovered earlier..And in fact, the harder version of Pythagoras is not the triangle but the coefficients of Pascal... the binomial coefficients as they called it.. That was also found...

Do you want to claim for China the Greek level of calculus knowledge, or Newton and Leibniz fully developed symbolic limiting forms? Make up your mind.

Wikipedia can't be built out of insinuations, it has to be facts.Maltwhiskman (talk) 11:08, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
    • The ancient Chinese understood calculus not in the sense of Newtion/Leibnitz, they had the concept of infinitismal division and limit, but never developed into a mathematical system. The Newtonian calculus was imported into China by Joseph Edkins and Alexander Wylie in 19th century--Gisling (talk) 09:35, 26 April 2010 (UTC).
I imagine we can all ignore western civilization's ubiquitous handwaving on behalf of western primacy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:14, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
I missed the part where this article is about western civilizations, it's quite clear that this article and some ensuing replies were motivated by something other than genuine pursuit of knowledge. Please, if you want to claim that the chinese discovered the knowledge, you need to do more than just show pictures that "look". If you visit the Pythagorean theorem page, you will see a very detail and structured proof. Please uphold the same quality standards. Also, please do your best to keep shouting out, it's not about east or west, it's about mathematics. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rawringtiger (talkcontribs) 18:39, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

In terms of politics (and even some elements of culture) I would agree with you about there existing some kind of western notion of supremacy, however this is not about politics. Leaving out political and social considerations, western scientists and historians of science generally have no qualms about pointing out the achievements of others and even being themselves discoverers and promoters of non-European elements to the origins of western civilization and science (origin of man from Africa, agriculture and writing imported from the Middle East, numerals imported from India, etc). Either way, two wrongs wouldn't make one right and it's important to avoid cheerleading and handwaving in any context for or against any subject when it comes to encyclopedic content. The easiest way to avoid this is to provide credible sources and if necessary also include divergent opinions. This is especially important when dealing with complex issues like calculus, where using uncorroborated claims and generalizations can lead to evidently false conclusions. — (talk) 07:30, 27 September 2010 (UTC)


The source Joseph Needham is repeatedly cited in the references, but as far as I can tell the book is never actually named anywhere in the article.

```` Randy Schwartz —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:22, 22 September 2008 (UTC) so anyone can write on this! so wierd

A Homecoming Stranger: Footsteps of the Double-False-Position Method[edit]

Dun, Liu, 2002. "A Homecoming Stranger: Footsteps of the Double-False-Position Method." In: From China to Paris. 2000 Years Transmission of Mathematical Ideas. Edited by Yvonne Dold-Samplonius, Joseph W. Dauben, Menso Folkerts & Benno van Dalen. Stuttgart: Steiner. [Abstract: Appearing first in the Nine Chapters on Mathematical Procedures (ca. 50 AD), the Double-False-Position Method spread from China into Central Asia in the Middle Ages and became known as the "Khitan algorithm" [hisâb al-khata'ayn] among Arabic mathematicians. Leonardo Fibonacci (1170?-1250) devoted a separate chapter to this method in his Liber Abaci (1202). When the Jesuits introduced Western mathematical knowledge into China in the early 17th century, they claimed that the Double-False-Position Method was a new technique invented by Western mathematicians and could not be found in the "old text" of the Nine Chapters. This is because ancient Chinese mathematical books had become extremely rare at that time. Therefore when the Double-False-Position Method appeared in the Tongwen suanzhi (1613) and Xijinglu (ca. 1610), it was said that "a stranger came from overseas"].

07:46, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

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