Person: Dawei, Cheng
Cheng Dawei was a Chinese mathematician who published the Suanfa tong zong (General source of computational methods).
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Firstly we know Cheng Da Wei lived in the latter half of the Ming dynasty which was a period of prosperity with increasing trade and commerce.
- Cheng Da Wei was probably directly involved in such efforts but, if not, he was certainly indirectly involved.
- The need for arithmetical skills led to the invention of the abacus and Cheng Da Wei's book General source of computational methods was an arithmetic book for the abacus.
- That Cheng Da Wei was not a professional mathematician is typical of what one would expect from this period in China.
- Cheng Da Wei wrote the General source of computational methods in 1592.
- unlike the authors of the venerable classic, Cheng Dawei was not afraid of superfluity or verbosity.
- How does Cheng Da Wei solve the problem?
- In Chapter 2 of Cheng Da Wei's text there is the following problem.
- Cheng Da Wei goes on to explain what one expects the altitude of grain for a given base circumference to be.
- Of course in practice it will depend on how coarse the grain is, but Cheng Da Wei's values are quite close to what experimental evidence suggests.
- As we see by looking at the problem, these are precisely the values that Cheng Da Wei uses in it.
Born 1533, China. Died 1606, China.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Ancient Chinese, Chinese, Origin China, Puzzles And Problems
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive