Gaining Teaching Experience in a History of Mathematics Course . Angie Hodge [email protected] History of mathematics . Who takes the course? Why do they take the course? What purpose could/should the course serve for pre-service teachers?. Focus on pre-service teachers.
Napier’s mathematical writing was focused on practicalities of computation.
Napier first introduced his “rods” (or “bones”) in his book Rabdologiae, published in 1617. The rods provided a mechanical way of multiplying two numbers. The rods consisted of 10 rectangular blocks that resembled a multiplication table. Each rod was divided into nine squares, where a digit was engraved in the top square, and the remaining squares contained multiples of the digit from 2 through 9. Napier’s rods essentially reduced multiplication to addition.
Have students partner up for the activity and hand out one Napier’s Rods Table to each group of two.
Begin completing the table containing Napier’s rods to show the students exactly how to fill it in.
Then let the students complete the table.
After the students have completely filled in the table have them cut it apart into columns.
Go through an example of how to multiply two numbers.
Explain to the students how you add the numbers in each diagonal, where each diagonal stands for the unit values: in this case the unit values are 1000, 100, 10, and 1.
Explain to the students that you need to account for the place value of each partial product when adding the two together at the end.