Looking at my blog statistics I see Happy New Year 2017 is popular, so time for a quick update!
It’s that time of year again and we can play the 2018 Year Game in our January lessons.
We could also look back and use the excellent MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive from the University of St Andrews, Scotland. We could check any day for example for Mathematicians who were born or died on that day or check the Mathematician of the Week. Or we could look at the Theorem of the day!
We can always turn to Number Gossip from Tanya Khovanova for information on properties of a number. We see for example that 2018 is square free; I have found students are usually interested in these number properties and we could certainly usefully revise prime factor decomposition and come up with some more square free numbers.
We can also look at WolframAlpha which provides further information including what 2018 looks like in historical numeral forms. We could use the various WolframAlpha queries to learn how Babylonian, for example, numerals work. Some possible starters for January lessons here I think!
The Babylonian system was a positional base 60 system, though interestingly uses ‘units’ and ‘tens’ symbols to create the 59 symbols needed.
For more on the Babylonian system including how fractions were represented see History of Fractions from Nrich.
Wishing educators and students everywhere a very Happy New Year.