Texas College Mathematics Journal
Vol. 1 (2005), pp. 15-31.

Calculation across Cultures and History

Carl R. Seaquista, Padmanabhan Seshaiyera, Dianne Crowleyb

MSC (2000): Primary 97D80; Secondary 01A07

Key words: Calculation, Ethnomathematics

Abstract: This paper describes a series of activities for both students and teachers thatdemonstrate various methods of calculation. Included are examples using Napier's bonesand other calculating rods, slide rules, abacuses, Vedic mathematics, and a variety ofpaper and pencil techniques. The activities are designed to provide anopportunity to discuss culture, geography, history, and mathematics. They have beenused successfully with elementary school children and their teachers as part of anongoing program sponsored by the K-12 International Education Outreach at theInternational Cultural Center of Texas TechUniversity.In additionthey have been used with both social studies and mathematics high school teachers.

a Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Texas Tech University,Lubbock, TX 79409-1042

b K-12 International Education Outreach,International Cultural Center, Texas TechUniversity, Lubbock, TX 79409-1036

email: seaqucr@math.ttu.edu, padhu@math.ttu.edu, dianne.crowley@ttu.edu

Received by Editor: May 31, 2004 and, in revised form December 23, 2004.
Posted: January 13, 2005.

Copyright 2005