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Who First Invented Mathematics?

Curious about the origin of math? Discover who first invented mathematics and how numbers changed the world.

Who First Invented Mathematics?

Who Invented Mathematics First in the World?

Mathematics is a universal language that has been used for thousands of years to understand and solve problems related to numbers, quantities, and shapes. The origins of mathematics are not entirely clear, but evidence suggests that early civilizations such as the Egyptians and Babylonians developed sophisticated mathematical systems.

Overview of Mathematics

Mathematics is the study of numbers and their relationships and patterns. It is a subject that has many practical applications, from calculating distances to designing buildings and creating computer programs. Mathematics is a fundamental part of many fields, including science, engineering, and economics.

Ancient Egyptian Mathematics

The Egyptians are known for their advancements in mathematics as early as 3000 BC. They had a need for accurate calculations in order to construct pyramids and other architectural wonders. The Egyptian mathematical system was based on symbols and had a decimal system, which allowed for mathematical operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. They also had knowledge of geometry and used it to create maps and calculate areas of land.

The Egyptians used a system of hieroglyphs to represent numbers, which helped them keep track of taxes and measure the land. They used fractions as well, with fractions like 1/2, 1/3, and 1/4 being common. The ancient Egyptians were also known for their use of the Pythagorean theorem to calculate the size of triangles.

Babylonian Mathematics

The Babylonians were a civilization that lived in Mesopotamia, around 2000 BC. They created a numerical system that used a base of 60, which influenced the development of trigonometry and allowed for more complex calculations than the Egyptian system. The Babylonians also developed a way of solving quadratic equations, which allowed them to find the lengths of sides of right-angled triangles and calculate areas of rectangles and circles.

The Babylonians used cuneiform writing to represent numbers, which was a series of wedge-shaped marks. They also used fractions and solved equations using methods that were similar to our modern algebra. The Babylonians were able to develop a highly advanced mathematical system, which laid the foundation for many mathematical discoveries that followed.


The question of who invented mathematics first in the world is a complex one, as many ancient civilizations had knowledge of the subject. However, it is clear that the Egyptians and Babylonians played a significant role in the development of mathematics. Their sophisticated systems of numbers and calculations allowed them to solve complex problems and make accurate measurements that were essential to their daily lives. Their discoveries paved the way for later discoveries and advancements in mathematics that we still use today.

Greek Mathematics

Mathematics has been an essential part of human culture since ancient times. Many civilizations, including the Greeks, made significant contributions to the development of mathematics. Greek mathematics, in particular, played a crucial role in shaping the field of mathematics. The ancient Greeks made remarkable achievements in various branches of mathematics, including geometry, trigonometry, algebra, and calculus. Greek mathematicians developed new techniques and discovered several mathematical principles that are still used today. In this article, we will delve into the contributions of Greek mathematicians to the development of mathematics.

The Contributions of Pythagoras

Pythagoras was a Greek philosopher and mathematician who lived between 570 BC and 495 BC. He is most famous for his theorem that deals with the sides of right-angled triangles. The Pythagorean Theorem states that in a right-angled triangle, the square of the length of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. This theorem has immense practical applicability in various fields, including architecture, engineering, and physics.

Apart from the Pythagorean Theorem, Pythagoras made significant contributions to the field of number theory. He discovered that numbers are the building blocks of the world and that they have deep philosophical significance. He formulated the concept of a perfect number, which is a positive integer that is equal to the sum of its proper divisors. Pythagoras also developed the idea of harmonic numbers, which are related to the study of musical harmonies.

In addition to his work in number theory, Pythagoras also made important contributions to the development of geometry. He founded the Pythagorean School of Mathematics, which promoted the study of mathematics and science. The Pythagoreans believed that mathematics was the key to understanding the universe and that all things in nature could be explained using mathematical principles.

The Work of Euclid

Euclid was a Greek mathematician who lived around 300 BC. He is best known for his book Elements, which is one of the most influential works in the history of mathematics. Elements is a comprehensive treatise on geometry, which contains 13 books that cover various aspects of the subject. Euclid's work includes definitions, postulates, and theorems, which are used to derive more complex geometric principles.

Elements served as the foundation for the teaching of geometry for almost two thousand years. It presented geometry in a logical and systematic manner, making it easy for students to understand and learn. Euclid's work was highly influential in the development of mathematics and science, and it continues to be studied by mathematicians to this day.

The Legacy of Archimedes

Archimedes was a Greek mathematician, physicist, and inventor who lived in the third century BC. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest mathematicians of all time. Archimedes made significant contributions to calculus, geometry, and mechanics. He discovered the principles of buoyancy and leverages and developed several machines that used these principles, including the Archimedes Screw and the Claw of Archimedes.

In the field of calculus, Archimedes made significant advancements in the method of exhaustion. The method of exhaustion is a precursor to modern calculus and is used to find the area and volume of irregular shapes. Archimedes used this method to calculate the value of pi and to determine the volumes of spheres, cones, and cylinders.

In conclusion, the ancient Greeks made significant contributions to the development of mathematics. Greek mathematicians, such as Pythagoras, Euclid, and Archimedes, made remarkable achievements in various branches of mathematics, including geometry, trigonometry, algebra, and calculus. Their discoveries and principles have influenced the field of mathematics for centuries and continue to inspire modern-day researchers and scientists.

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Indian Mathematics

Indian mathematics refers to the mathematical developments that came from the Indian subcontinent. The earliest recorded mathematical concepts in the region date back to the Vedic period, around 1500-600 BCE, but the major advancements in mathematics from India were made during the Classical period, from around 400-1200 CE.

The Contributions of Aryabhata

Aryabhata was born in India in 476 CE, and is often referred to as the father of Indian mathematics. He made several important contributions to the field of mathematics, including the development of algebra, trigonometry, and astronomy.

In his book Aryabhatiya, Aryabhata introduced the concept of place value notation, which revolutionized numerical calculations. He also developed a system of numerals, which are still used widely today, that included the concept of zero as a placeholder.

Aryabhata is also credited with the development of trigonometry, which he used in his astronomical calculations. He calculated the circumference of the Earth to within 0.2% accuracy, and correctly calculated the length of the sidereal year.

The Work of Bhaskara

Bhaskara, who lived in India around 1200 AD, was a mathematician and astronomer who made significant contributions to the study of calculus and geometry. His work had a profound impact on the development of modern mathematics.

Bhaskara's most famous work, Siddhanta Shiromani, consisted of four parts: Lilavati, Bijaganita, Goladhyaya and Grahaganita. The Lilavati contains rules for arithmetic operations, and is believed to have been written for his daughter, Lilavati, who he feared would never get married if she didn't master mathematics.

The Bijaganita deals with algebraic equations and lays out exact and numerical solutions to algebraic equations. The Goladhyaya and Grahaganita discuss spheres and the geometry of the planets, respectively.

Bhaskara is also credited with the development of the concept of differential calculus, which he used to make accurate approximations of planetary positions.

The Invention of Zero

The invention of zero is often credited to Indian mathematicians, who first used the concept as a placeholder in numerical calculations. This discovery had a profound impact on the development of mathematics and paved the way for advanced calculations and complex problem-solving techniques.

The use of zero as a numerical digit was not introduced until later in Indian history, around the 7th century CE. The concept of zero was then transmitted to the Arab world, where it was further developed and eventually transmitted to Europe in the 12th century.

The concept of zero had a profound impact on mathematics, allowing for more complex calculations and new branches of study such as algebra and calculus.

In conclusion, the contributions of Indian mathematicians like Aryabhata and Bhaskara, as well as the invention of zero, had a significant impact on the development of modern mathematics. Their work allowed for complex calculations and opened up new areas of study that have been essential to the growth of science and technology.

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Who Invented Mathematics First in the World?

Mathematics is undoubtedly an essential field in our lives transcending beyond borders. Various cultures contributed to the development of mathematics throughout history. However, when it comes to pinpointing the original inventors of mathematics, it is a complex and controversial matter, as the origins of mathematics remain shrouded in mystery. Nevertheless, let's take a closer look at some of the cultures that made significant contributions to this subject.

The Egyptians and Mathematics

The ancient Egyptians were proficient in mathematics, and they were the first to develop a numerical system. In addition, they created different mathematical techniques to help solve problems related to irrigation and trade. The Egyptians also developed systems of measurement to help in the construction of structures such as pyramids. Their knowledge of geometry helped them in calculating the areas and volumes of various geometrical shapes. Furthermore, the Egyptians were the first to recognize and study prime numbers, which have many practical applications.

The Greeks and Mathematics

The ancient Greeks contributed significantly to the field of mathematics. They introduced several mathematical theories such as Euclidean geometry, which still forms the basis of modern geometry. Greek mathematicians were also the first to create axiomatic systems, a set of logical rules that is essential in understanding mathematical concepts. Furthermore, they developed calculus, trigonometry, and number theory. Greeks such as Archimedes, Pythagoras, and Euclid left an everlasting impact on the world of mathematics.

The Indians and Mathematics

The Indian civilization made substantial contributions to mathematics, with the development of the decimal system being their most significant contribution. The decimal system, also known as the Hindu-Arabic numeral system, uses ten digits to represent numbers. This system revolutionized mathematics, making calculations easier and more efficient. It was the key factor in the development of algebra, and calculus in modern mathematics. The Indian mathematicians used this system to develop solutions for complicated mathematical problems, as seen in their religious texts. They were also the first to develop a concept of zero which was the foundation for the modern number system.

The Chinese and Mathematics

The ancient Chinese civilization also made essential contributions to mathematics. The Chinese were the first to use negative numbers, and they developed algebraic concepts to solve problems based on everyday life. They also used matrices, which is the basis of linear algebra, to solve problems related to various fields. Moreover, they developed an approach to approximating pi, and they used it to derive its value to a high level of accuracy, a development that had applications in geometry and physics. It was also in China that the development of binary arithmetic that serves as the basis of modern computer systems, was first carried out.


Mathematics has been an integral part of human civilization since ancient times, with its origins tracing back to various cultures. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Indians, and Chinese contributed significantly to its development. The field of mathematics remains a living and dynamic field where new concepts are developed and applied every day. Understanding the contributions of the different cultures to mathematics is essential in appreciating the richness and diversity of mathematical knowledge we have today.

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