Pascal’s Triangle Before Blaise Pascal

Wednesday in class we saw some of the tricks of Pascal’s Triangle such as the exponents of 11, the Fibonacci Sequence, and the Sierpinski Triangle. In reading more about it on mathisfun.com I came across the Chinese version that showed up more than 300 years before Pascal’s did. This version is known as Yang Hui’s Triangle. This blog post describes more about how it came about, but I found it really interesting that it showed up so many years earlier.

In a way it reminds me of Dr. Plante’s story about the tile work in Europe that he didn’t write about and publish before someone else did. The Chinese had it figured out first, but so many people today only know about Pascal’s work.

 

Leave a Reply