Proceedings of the 2017 Undergraduate Mathematics Day
We discuss in this expository paper the rod system used in ancient China based on the mathematical classic work of Sun Zi, with a focus on application to solving systems of linear equations. The mathematics involved is authentic and beautiful, and we believe it is also of interest from historical, cultural, and pedagogical perspectives.
Book of Sun Zi, base ten notation, systems of linear equations
Mao, Jianqiao and Yang, Zheng, "Mathematics with Only Rods" (2018). Proceedings of Undergraduate Mathematics Day. 35.
This paper was presented Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, as part of Undergraduate Mathematics Day at the University of Dayton. Launched in 2003, Undergraduate Mathematics Day is held in odd-numbered years and alternates with the Biennial Alumni Career Seminar. The conference coincides with the annual Schraut Memorial Lecture, named Kenneth “Doc” Schraut, a mathematics faculty member from 1940 to 1978 and department chair from 1954 to 1970.
The 2017 invited lecturer was Joseph Gallian, the Morse Alumni Distinguished University Professor of Teaching at the University of Minnesota Duluth and a past president of the Mathematical Association of America. He presented the lecture “Breaking Driver’s License Codes.”