SciBar: Ancient Codes


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WEDNESDAY, April 27th, 2022 AT 7:30 PM

Magic Hat, 3-5, Higham House, Higham Pl, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8AF

#SciBar: Ancient Codes: A journey into a non-western perspective of mathematics.
SciBar is a series of free and fascinating science-themed talks.
We’re taught that the ancient Greeks invented mathematics and science, followed by a thousand years of nothing, before the Middle Ages brought a mathematical golden age in Europe. This incorrect notion of a western-dominated history of mathematical progress means we miss out on many fascinating wonders.
Glossing over the past means we lose out on celebrating different cultures’ interpretations of the beauty of the mathematics which pervade both scientific advancement and our everyday lives.A full history of the world of mathematics would be impossible. We will instead focus a handful of mathematical artifacts. These span four continents over a time of roughly 20,000 years. We will discuss the first inklings of mathematical knowledge in Paleolithic Africa before introducing techniques developed in the ancient middle east; said mathematics is often attributed to later cultures.
We fast-forward to the 18th century where we focus on a mathematical sequence simultaneously discovered by a Swiss and Japanese mathematician. We conclude our journey by (virtually!) jumping to south America where we look at styles of mathematics so extraordinarily unlike our own. We end with focus the Dresden Codex- one of only four known Mayan texts to survive the destruction of all Mayan culture by colonialists.


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