Capsule lessons in alternative algorithms for the classroom. (English)

Morrow, Lorna J. et al., The teaching and learning of algorithms in school mathematics. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Reston, VA (ISBN 0-87353-440-9). 91-98 (1998).

Although the calculations performed centuries ago are still valid today, the algorithms used most likely are not the same. As our number system became more defined and new notations were created, mathematicians developed new algorithms. Yet the historical algorithms illustrate thought. Comparing historical algorithms with those of today can show students how the human understanding of number has developed through time. Following are three capsules that illustrate alternative algorithms from the pages of history. (orig.)