### Take one tablet a day to become a better mathematician

This is an ancient clay tablet (aka school book) discovered in Babylonia in the second millennium B.C. – some 1000 years before Pythagoras. You will notice that is shows, within the square, an isosceles triangle with a diagonal hypotenuse.

The Babylonians understood the relationship between the sides of a right-angled triangle, and, in solving for the hypotenuse, came up with an approximation of accurate to five decimal places. Incredible mathematicians! So, why did Pythagoras get all the textbook praise for his theorem? Simply because he made it a theorem or proof, which is fundamental to so much of our trigonometry today. (Note: the Babylonians also used a space to represent zero, but it was later mathematicians who came up with the concept of “0” itself as a symbol).