Sumerians and Egyptians first introduced the abacus (beads on rods) to count. This was as high-tech as it got until the 17th century AD. John Napier’s logarithms led to the introduction of the slide rule (a sliding stick or discs allowing rapid multiplication or division. Around this time, the first mechanical calculators were also introduced. French math whiz Blaise Pascal introduced in 1642 a device to compute arithmetic operations. But it wasn’t until the 1850s that commercially viable arithmometers were available. Hand cranked calculating machines followed in the late 1800s. The Curta calculator, a mechanical calculator compact enough to be mobile, appeared in 1948. The electronic calculator came into use in the 1960s. The first all-electronic desktop calculator, with push button key layout, was seen in 1961 and sold for around $1000 (which is the equivalent of about $8000 today). To think that today, we all have calculators on our phones! And the phones cost less than that!
Are you one of those people who wonders if you’ll ever have use for math again? Well, we’re here for you. Here’s a quiz on all that you should know having finished 8th grade math. The true test will be whether you remember all that you learned back in the day. The good news is your results don’t stand in the way of your experiencing high school — because of course, given the chance, you’d want to do that all over again…right?
Did you know?