# Re: CHAT: Ethnomathematics, etc. (was Re: OT: In the 'ignorance on parade' file

From: | Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...> |

Date: | Monday, August 20, 2001, 22:27 |

Thanks to Sylvia and CzHang (?) for the leads on ethnomathematics books.
On Friday, August 17, 2001, at 12:34 PM, Bryan John Maloney wrote:
> Japanese mathematics was very advanced, even solving problems that Europe
> had to wait until calculus was invented to solve, but the solutions were
> very often non-numerical. Many of these solutions ended up as
> "decoration" in temples.

Now, I had heard *very briefly* of this--a paragraph mention in _The Story
of Mathematics_ by Motz & Weaver (mostly Western) or _The Mathematical
Experience_ by Davis & Hersh, don't remember which. They also mentioned
that occasionally due to the intuitional nature of mathematical practice
sometimes the theorems were off-track, but didn't give any details (and
besides, it's also true of "Western" math anyway). In any case, could you
recommend resources/references on Japanese mathematics (in English, if
available)?
YHL the curious
wondering if that's *one* reason why Japanese mathematical pedagogy seems
so much more interesting, flexible and effective (from what little I've
seen/heard of it) than the U.S.'s