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REDISCOVERING NUMERAL SYSTEMS


 

During the late 1600's, the German mathematician and philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) developed the binary numeration system. However, mathematicians found no practical use for the system until the 1940's, when computers were developed. Today, computers use the binary system.

During the 1950's and 1960's, many educators recognized the value of teaching numeration systems. Students began studying various systems as a part of what was called the "new mathematics." By doing arithmetic with unfamiliar systems, students gained a better understanding of the familiar decimal system and of arithmetic in general. However, in the 1970's, educators recognized that students also needed practice in solving everyday arithmetic problems and learning basic computational skills .

 

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