Tom Fuller, The Virginia Calculator

1441476_origAn interesting story of a self-taught mathematician.  Born in Africa, Tom Fuller was brought to Virginia as a slave.  But the story of his mathematical prowess traveled quickly across the States and even back to Europe.  Check out his story here:  http://www.csmonitor.com/1980/0212/021207.html

BADGING:  Read the article above.  Write a paragraph that reflects on the accomplishments of Tom Fuller.  What is the most complicated thing that you’ve taught yourself?  What do you think Tom Fuller might have been capable of had he been educated formally or had a mentor/teacher (or, like Tom, do you think it better that he never had a formal education)?  After this paragraph, pick one of the questions that the men quizzed him with — show the steps/arithmetic used to arrive at the correct answer.  Do this without any electronic assistance — though I will allow you to write down your work (though Tom did not).

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One thought on “Tom Fuller, The Virginia Calculator

  1. Pingback: The Black Heroes of Mathematics | Pre-Algebra

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