Sophisticated geometry – the branch of mathematics that deals with shapes – was being used at least 1,400 years earlier than previously thought, a study suggests.
Research shows that the Ancient Babylonians were using geometrical calculations to track Jupiter across the night sky.
It had been thought that complex geometry was first used by scholars in Oxford and Paris in medieval times.
They used curves to trace the position and velocity of moving objects.
But now scientists believe the Babylonians developed this technique around 350 BC.
There’s nothing odd about odds today. From tomorrow’s 50 percent chance of rain, to Effie Trinket’s “may the odds be ever in your favor,” to artificial intelligence—yes, AI—probabilities reign in everyday life. But it wasn’t always that way, and just because we’re surrounded by them nowadays, do we understand them?
That’s one of the topics explored in the WSF15 program Wizards of Odds, which opened with this video about probability’s improbable history and the 18th century theologian-cum-mathematician Thomas Bayes—a true wizard of odds—whose mathematical dives into probability changed the world … and eventually the face of AI.