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Katie Bell
Professor Diaz
Math 2010
October 6, 2016
Essay 2
Numeration Essay
The Roman system of numeration is one of the many systems that was
used anciently. Of all the number systems, this one is still in fairly wide use
around the world. Using this number system requires you to learn the
symbols connected with specific numbers. These symbols are then added
together to equal the correct number written. To make this system even
shorter in notation, the use of subtraction was added to create numbers
close to the five and ten. By subtracting, for example, you can get shorter
notations. To write the number 49 in Roman numerals, you would initially
write it like this: XXXXVIIII. In the shorter notation and using subtraction, that
long number would become XLIX.
This numeration system is a little tricky to wrap your thinking around
unless youve practiced it several times and know the symbols and
subtraction well enough. Compared to the Indo-Arabic numeration system,
this is a lot more complex when it comes to writing numbers. Instead of
knowing right off what the number is, you must transform it into actual
numbers to get the desired number. Calculations using Roman numerals

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were quite cumbersome. For this reason, calculations were performed on
devices such as abacuses, counting boards, and trays, (Long 129).

## The Babylonian System of numeration is one of the earliest used forms

of counting. This system was more sophisticated in that it introduced the
notion of place value, (Long 129). There were only two symbols: one symbol
for the ones place and one symbol for the tens. To write these numbers was
simple in form, however it was time consuming due to the lack of more
symbols for larger numbers. The system was also used in the base of sixty.
So any number over fifty-nine had to be multiplied by sixty to achieve the
A challenge that we dont have with the Indo-Arabic numeration
system that is present with the Babylonia system is the missing symbol for
zero. With no zero available, it is harder to keep track of place value. Finally,
a place holder was created for instances that needed a zero in place value.
This symbol was two triangles stacked on top of each other. This is similar to

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the Indo-Arabic system in that the place holder relates to zero in quantity
and need.

## With all of the

numeration systems

that have been created throughout the years, the Indo-Arabic system makes
the most sense. Firstly, because it is what we are taught in schools today.
However, the logic and preciseness of this system makes it favorable to use
in place of other numeration systems. This system has a symbol (called
numbers) for each and every number. There is no need to convert symbols to
numbers and back again with this system. It also makes use of 10 and is
easy to understand when an exchange to a larger number is needed. Place
value is key in this system and zero is used when there is an empty place.
Every numeration system has added a component to this Indo-Arabic system
which makes is so precise and easy to use. It is interesting to see how the
number system has evolved throughout the years into what we use now.

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Works Cited
Long, C. Mathematical Reasoning for Elementary School Teachers. N.p.: Pearson,
2014. Print.

Pictures
http://www.basic-mathematics.com/babylonian-numeration-system.html