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The Excess and Deficit Rule and The Rule of False Position (동양의 영부족술과 서양의 가정법)

  • Chang Hyewon
    • Journal for History of Mathematics
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    • v.18 no.1
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    • pp.33-48
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    • 2005
  • The Rule of False Position is known as an arithmetical solution of algebraical equations. On the other hand, the Excess-Deficit Rule is an algorithm for calculating about excessive or deficient quantitative relations, which is found in the ancient eastern mathematical books, including the nine chapters on the mathematical arts. It is usually said that the origin of the Rule of False Position is the Excess-Deficit Rule in ancient Chinese mathematics. In relation to these facts, we pose two questions: - As many authors explain, the excess-deficit rule is a solution of simultaneous linear equations? - Which relation is there between the two rules explicitly? To answer these Questions, we consider the Rule of Single/Double False Position and research the Excess-Deficit Rule in some ancient mathematical books of Chosun Dynasty that was heavily affected by Chinese mathematics. And we pursue their historical traces in Egypt, Arab and Europe. As a result, we can make sure of the status of the Excess-Deficit Rule differing from the Rectangular Arrays(the solution of simultaneous linear equations) and identify the relation of the two rules: the application of the Excess-Deficit Rule including supposition in ancient Chinese mathematics corresponds to the Rule of Double False Position in western mathematics. In addition, we try to appreciate didactical value of the Rule of False Position which is apt to be considered as a historical by-product.

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