The movie *Plimpton 322: The Ancient Roots of Modern Mathematics* was released yesterday! It’s now freely available for streaming at Professor Kirby’s webpage.

### The Ancient Roots of Modern Mathematics

This blog accompanies the short documentary film "Plimpton 322: The Ancient Roots of Modern Mathematics” and will host a discussion of issues arising from the film. It’s for Professor Laurence Kirby’s students at Baruch College, and anyone else interested.-
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Watching this movie, I learned that The Plimpton 322 was found in the desert of Iraq in 1920. Also, that many think of Ancient Greece when talking about the history of Mathematics

I liked the movie which we just recently watched. In my opinion, this movie explains us the importance of the math deeply. Furthermore, it has a lot of facts and concepts which are relevant even today. The movie “Plimpton 322” tells us about the ancient roots of modern mathematics. For example, 4000 years ago the mathematicians of the city Larsa (modern Iraq) discovered the base 60 which the modern society still uses as measuring the time. It also has an astronomic importance as well as historical (unification of weight and measures) and math reasons (60 has lots of factors).

In addition, it is also significant to mention Western interest in Babylonian collection because of its Biblical importance that they had.

Later on around 1920-s the small piece of clay was founded and called as “Plimpton 322”. I also found out that when Babylonian students got to more advanced level they started solving some mathematical problems and tasks in terms of real world situations, or found new solutions to the existed ones. The clay tables which students used had played the role of copybooks. In additions with the help of those tables students were running vital projects such as building containers for storing grain or building walls or digs to keep the river flooding from going over the croplands.

Today the modern society uses so many digital devices such cellphones, i-pads, computers, navigations, televisions, calculators and others. All of them are based on algorithms which Al-Kharizmi discovered for the 21 century long time ago. Even the Wall Street uses his algorithms.

In conclusion, the movie “Plimpton 322” one more time proved my opinion about the importance of math.

“Plimpton 322” is a great video, which contains lots of detail information that we learned in class. Actually, watching the video one more time helped me understand better the different stages in math. I think this video is resume of what we have learned in class. As a kid, I have always asked my self; “why do we have a + sing, where did the number came from, did God came and said this is addition, subtraction, area of circle, etc.?? By taking this class, I have clarify my doubts. Must of learned the set of rules that has been passing generations to generation and that is it. However, it’s important to recognize the extreme important value of it’s history. Most of the digital technology that we have the privilege of using is owe all to Khwarizmi book of algorithms.

The Plimpton 322 movie is a great demonstration of the strong connection between mathematics 5000 years ago or even more and modern mathematics. In particular, the Pythagorean theorem that was found in a small clay tablet from the Old Babylonian civilization. Some tablets even included trigonometry, time tables or even used for accounting purposes such as the accounts of grain destined for various cities. Professor Kirby did an excellent work in making this movie, to show us how all the technology and development, we have achieved todayand that some people might take for granted, would have not existed if those mathematical discoveries were not made. even the simplest thing s such as time that we use came from our ancestors, the decimal positional notations, negative numbers, the zero … and the list goes on and on.

Some of these tablets known as Plimpton 322 were made to be used as a student and teacher aid. we can look at them as a notebook or a scientific calculator that we use today as an aid. However as simple and primitive these tablets might look to some of us, without them it would have been no computers or calculators that make our lives a lot easier today.

so my biggest conclusion after i have seen this movie is that we do owe a lot to the mathematicians from these ancient civilizations. Also, i think it is very important to make more movies and documentaries like this one by professor Kirby to explore more of these mathematical discoveries that have a big deal in making it so easy and convenient for us.

Plimpton 322 the movie by professor Kirby is a documentary about ancient mathematics and in specific Plimpton 322 which is a clay tablet that contains mathematical information. The documentary gives a deserved credit to our ancient mathematicians who built a solid foundation for all the sciences today. the movie describes plimpton 322, found in Iraq, as a clay tablet that dates over 5000 years ago used as a student and teacher’s aid. Some of the tablets contained some sophisticated calculations that if was not for the movie I would have never thought that civilizations dated back thousands of years were that developed and had such passion for math and sciences. The movie also points out the importance of these scientific discoveries by our ancestors in what what we have achieved today. Without them and their dedication we would not be where we are today.

The documentary was on point and allowed me as a student to know the roots and origins of some of the mathematical theories that i have been studying for years. knowing what these ancient mathematicians had to go through to finally come up with formulas and theorems makes me even more appreciative.

“Plimpton 322” is a significant document in our study of the history of mathematics . When we think about the origin of mathematics we look first and fore most at Ancient Greece. However this tablet shows pythagorean triples insisting that the Bayblonians were far more advanced than the Greek . This document excavated from Larsa is also where we get our base 60 and positional notation from which we used heavily in telling our time , days and so on . This document has not only numbers but words present too. It also has a blank space signifying the presence of zero .

Tablets like these can be found in Columbia University , given by Plimpton and Eugne smith. It is amazing how a document so old is still among us . These documents weren’t intended to survive .At the same time lots of archaeological sites have been looted , leading to irrevocable data and loss of information.

One question I would like to raise about Plimpton 322 is why the numbers aren’t going from right to left like how arabic is read and written.

What I find very interesting is that Nobody knows who wrote thePlimpton 322 but yet again it was very famous in the history of mathematics. Everything is about mathematics. Even when we celebrate New Year’s Eve, mathematics is involved because the number increases and we go to another in the calendar. We wait for the arrow to reach 12 (midnight) to celebrate New year which is also part of history of mathematics. In the movie, they take the celebration of New Year as an example when peole are so excited looking at the clock and cannot wait for the arrow to reach the last 12 for the year.

Also, George Arthur Plimpton & David Eugene Smith gave their collection to Columbia university and as of now there are about 500 tables in Columbia University alone.

Otto Neugebanm tried to interpret Plimpton 322 and even teamed up with sacks to publish an edition of the plimpton 322.

But yet again the author of the Plimton 322 remains unknown.

Nowadays we live in an electronic world, everything is computerized. It is hard to image for common people that one day there were not calculators, computers and etc. The significance of Plimpton 322 is that represents a valuable resource of knowledge about Babylonian mathematicians, their techniques, methods and way of thinking. It is a very important to know about the past, because the history of the all events directly reflects a possible way of the future. I think Plimpton 322 makes a significant impact in the future development mathematics and human civilization.

Plimton 322 and the other pieces of artifacts have so much information to what we know about math. It is an early record of what math was and what advances we have made from that. And technology today allows us to see these things without actually being there, allowing us to explore history and math.