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date: 08 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter studies nine long-known extant Chinese mathematical texts, and three recently excavated texts, all composed prior to the beginning of the Sui 隋 dynasty (581–618 ce). Most of these were compiled for use as school texts. They include problems on fractions, on proportions and extraction of square and cube roots, on simultaneous linear equations and computations of areas and volumes. Among the more advanced techniques deployed in these texts are computing the area of a circle, that is, obtaining certain approximate values of π; computing the volume of a pyramid; and computing the volume of a sphere.

Keywords: square and cube roots, fractions, decimal and common, mathematics, Chinese, Pythagorean theorem, simultaneous linear equations, squaring the circle, volume of a pyramid, volume of a sphere

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