Contemporary Mathematics

# Key Concepts

## 4.1Hindu-Arabic Positional System

• Exponents are used to represent repeated multiplication of a base.
• In arithmetic, exponents are computed before multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction. Computing an exponent is done by multiplying the base by itself the number of times equal to the exponent.
• The system of numbers currently used is the Hindu-Arabic system. Digits in this system take on values based on their place in the number. The place values are determined by multiplying the digit by 10 raised to the appropriate power.
• The expanded form of a Hindu-Arabic number is the sum of each digit times 10 raised to the exponent for that place value.

## 4.2Early Numeration Systems

• Historically, there have been many systems for numbering. One system is an additive system, in which symbols are repeated to express larger numbers. Another system is a positional system, in which the digits and their positions determine the quantity being represented.
• The Babylonian system was a combination of a positional and additive system. It used 60 as its base. Using that in the positional system makes it possible to convert between Babylonian and Hindu-Arabic numbers.
• The Mayan system was a combination of a positional and additive system. It used 20 as its base. Using that in the positional system makes it possible to convert between Mayan and Hindu-Arabic numbers.
• The Roman system was an additive system. Knowing what each symbol represents makes it possible to convert between Roman and Hindu-Arabic numbers.

## 4.3Converting with Base Systems

• The system we use is the base 10 system. Base 10 is not the only base that can be used. To use another base, one could start with a list of numbers in that base.
• To indicate that a number is written in a base other than 10, a subscript is appended to the end of the number. That subscript indicates the base for the number.
• Numbers written in a base smaller than 10 use the same symbols as base 10. However, when using bases larger than 10, the symbols A, B, C, … are used to represent digits larger than 9.
• To convert from a number written in a base other than 10 into a base 10 number, the number is written in expanded form and then that expression is computed.
• To convert a number from base 10 into another base, the base 10 number is repeatedly divided by the new base. The remainders when performing these divisions become the digits for the number in the new base.
• Common errors can be detected when performing base conversions.

## 4.4Addition and Subtraction in Base Systems

• Addition tables for bases other than 10 can be built using the same processes that are used in base 10, including using a number line.
• Addition in bases other than base 10 use the same processes as addition in base 10, but use the addition table for that base.
• Subtraction in bases other than base 10 use the same processes as subtraction in base 10, but use the addition table for that base.

## 4.5Multiplication and Division in Base Systems

• Multiplication tables for bases other than 10 can be built using the same processes that are used in base 10, including using repeated addition and the addition table for the base.
• Multiplication in bases other than base 10 use the same processes as multiplication in base 10, but use the multiplication table for that base.
• Basic division in bases other than base 10 use the same processes as basic division in base 10, where the missing factor process is used.

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