Happy New Year from the Create a Test Team,
We have lots to share in the New Year but one of our team thought he would share his Christmas / New Year trip to see the Chichen Itza in Mexico.
For a mathematician a trip to this great 'wonder of the world' is probably more exciting than the Pyramids or the Great Wall.
Built by the Mayans c1100AD the Chichen Itza was obviously built by mathematicians (the Mayans were great mathematicians!). There are 91 steps on each side and one joint step on top - 365 in total. Each side of the building is in 18 segments (the number of months in the Mayan calender). The building also shows a good understadning of acoustics and has many other interesting mathematical elements linked to astronomy.
It was actually the importance of astonomy and calendar calculations that led to the development of possibly the most advanced mathematical system at its time of development. The base 20 mathematical system included a zero (developed separately from other civilisations) and my trip to this fantastic building is something I have to work into my lessons in the New Year.
Happy New Year again!
Create a Test team