## How Ancient Egyptians Did Math

Michael S. Schneider explains how the ancient egyptians (and chinese) and modern computers multiply and divide.

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### Comments

22 comments posted so far. Login to add a comment.

27

#### 2. Break-a-leg commented 12 years ago

It really sounds extremely easy, but I couldn't do it by heart. I'd have to use paper for this.

Besides, what happens when something can't be divided without decimals? How do you count then?

Lets say: 23 / 2

that would be:

1 - 2 = 1

2 - 4 = 1

4 - 8 = 0

8 - 16 = 1

leaving only 1. Which will lead to decimals. Adding 10 to the decimals gives us 1.0 (or 10)

1 - 2 = 1

2 - 4 = 0

4 - 8 = 1

So the answer should be: 11,5

*grabs calculator*

Friggin hell, it works.

*Update*

It doens't really work well to try this with large numbers.. A long division still works better then.

Besides, what happens when something can't be divided without decimals? How do you count then?

Lets say: 23 / 2

that would be:

1 - 2 = 1

2 - 4 = 1

4 - 8 = 0

8 - 16 = 1

leaving only 1. Which will lead to decimals. Adding 10 to the decimals gives us 1.0 (or 10)

1 - 2 = 1

2 - 4 = 0

4 - 8 = 1

So the answer should be: 11,5

*grabs calculator*

Friggin hell, it works.

*Update*

It doens't really work well to try this with large numbers.. A long division still works better then.

29

#### 4. blockedusername commented 12 years ago

well i will try this on my next IB math test and hope to get a better grade hope my teacher will understand...he's indian, dont think he knows this yet

46

#### 6. mmmendal commented 12 years ago

When we were taught in school we were forbidden to use calculators and thus for me it is still much easier to use the decimal system. This system may be useful in dealing with large numbers by hand though.

One of my math teachers said that we use decimal system cause humans have 10 fingers (digits).

One of my math teachers said that we use decimal system cause humans have 10 fingers (digits).

46

#### 10. banzemanga commented 12 years ago

I am Computer Engineering student and never learned that.

32

#### 11. Teqskater commented 12 years ago

I understand the rules as showed in the video but....what about what #2 said. What about decimals. His aproach works but i dont see the rules the obviously of his system. Man this comes in handy. whit this im much faster in calculating. Makes more sense. Realy.

Only the decimals. How should you work with that?

Only the decimals. How should you work with that?

34

#### 12. huldu commented 12 years ago

Well, computers doesn't have a problem with it. He just didn't show how computers does it. I liked this a lot because it is pretty simple and basic. Of course it probably gets a little more "complicated" when you start using decimals. I'm sure someone here knows how computers does it. Translate that into this and voila, you have the answer.

36

#### 14. Slap_chop_ninja commented 12 years ago

It would appear that imperial measurements are also based on the power of 2.

Inches, pounds, ounces and gallons.

Inches, pounds, ounces and gallons.

24

#### 16. Tabur commented 12 years ago

Everything he says (except the electricity and no electricity part) is true. Yet, they teach us times tables because its much faster already knowing the answer than having to solve it, so don't try to be a smartass mr.

btw, its low voltage vs high voltage (high being a merely 3-5 volts) in computers logic. If you cut the power to a circuit its not the same as saying 0, its just weird. 0 means low voltage.

btw, its low voltage vs high voltage (high being a merely 3-5 volts) in computers logic. If you cut the power to a circuit its not the same as saying 0, its just weird. 0 means low voltage.

24

#### 20. roady commented 12 years ago

The maths used by computers is simpler, because they are, but takes more speed, which they have. Our maths is more complicated, because we are, but takes fewer calculations. The maths we do does take more learning, and more understanding. Hopefully, for a while at least, we are still smarter. We are working on computers that can program themselves, and when they do succeed (next few decades), life is going to get very interesting indeed.

But in the meantime, would you rather be proud about how dumb you are, or how smart you are?

But in the meantime, would you rather be proud about how dumb you are, or how smart you are?

32

#### 21. Teqskater commented 10 years ago

#2. I think but i may be not correct at al, you can leave out the comma at first and place it later on. Just count the number of numbers on the right side. That's the number of places from right to left that you need to count in the solution before re-placing the comma.

I'm sorry that i can't explain this better. It's because English isn't my native language.

Besides this al i want to state that i always had problems with calculating and calculating efficiently in my head. But somehow maths have always interested me. I guess i just want to know how.

I'm sorry that i can't explain this better. It's because English isn't my native language.

Besides this al i want to state that i always had problems with calculating and calculating efficiently in my head. But somehow maths have always interested me. I guess i just want to know how.

18

#### 22. SquidCap commented 9 years ago

Things get a lot more complicated if you use numbers that are not chosen to fit this way of calculating. Take any prime and put them up there. 1075/25 is very simple to do with either system, 1069/23 is not.

Also multiplying large numbers in your head is easier with powers of ten system than binary that almost always needs a pen and a paper. The main difference is length of the sequence. 632 is way easier to remember than "1001111000"..

Also multiplying large numbers in your head is easier with powers of ten system than binary that almost always needs a pen and a paper. The main difference is length of the sequence. 632 is way easier to remember than "1001111000"..

## +35 1. woschman commented 12 years ago