BOOKS: ADD LIKE AN EGYPTIAN

Good mathGood Math,” by Mark Chu-Carroll; $34, from Pragmatic Bookshelf, tells the story of math from imaginary numbers to Egyptian fractions and Roman Numerals.

How do you multiply with Roman numerals? It can be done. How did the ancient Egyptians do fractions? They had a rule that the numerator always had to be one. So you couldn’t write 5/8ths when you wanted that number, you wrote 1/2 plus 1/8. They considered a number like 2/3 unnatural, or perhaps inelegant, and would find some other way to express it. This is all fun stuff, but there are some difficult parts.

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