multiplication tables


In , a multiplication table (sometimes, less formally, a times table) is a used to define a for an algebraic system. The multiplication table was traditionally taught as an essential part of elementary arithmetic around the world, as it lays the foundation for arithmetic operations with base-ten numbers. Many educators believe it is necessary to memorize the table up to 9 × 9.


In pre-modern time

The oldest known multiplication tables were used by the about 4000 years ago. However, they used a base of 60. The oldest known tables using a base of 10 are the dating to about 305 BC, during China's period. The multiplication table is sometimes attributed to the ancient Greek mathematician (570–495 BC). It is also called the Table of Pythagoras in many languages (for example French, Italian and Russian), sometimes in English. The mathematician (60–120 AD), a follower of , included a multiplication table in his ', whereas the oldest surviving multiplication table is on a wax tablet dated to the 1st century AD and currently housed in the . In 493 AD, wrote a 98-column multiplication table which gave (in ) the product of every number from 2 to 50 times and the rows were "a list of numbers starting with one thousand, descending by hundreds to one hundred, then descending by tens to ten, then by ones to one, and then the fractions down to 1/144."

In modern time

In his 1820 book ''The Philosophy of Arithmetic'', mathematician published a multiplication table up to 99 × 99, which allows numbers to be multiplied in pairs of digits at a time. Leslie also recommended that young pupils memorize the multiplication table up to 50 × 50. The illustration below shows a table up to 16 × 16, which is a size commonly used nowadays in English-world schools. In China, however, because multiplication of integers is , many schools use a smaller table as below. Some schools even remove the first column since 1 is the .
The traditional of multiplication was based on memorization of columns in the table, in a form like 1 × 10 = 10 2 × 10 = 20 3 × 10 = 30 4 × 10 = 40 5 × 10 = 50 6 × 10 = 60 7 × 10 = 70 8 × 10 = 80 9 × 10 = 90 This form of writing the multiplication table in columns with complete number sentences is still used in some countries, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, instead of the modern grids above.

Patterns in the tables

There is a pattern in the multiplication table that can help people to memorize the table more easily. It uses the figures below: Figure 1 is used for multiples of 1, 3, 7, and 9. Figure 2 is used for the multiples of 2, 4, 6, and 8. These patterns can be used to memorize the multiples of any number from 0 to 10, except 5. As you would start on the number you are multiplying, when you multiply by 0, you stay on 0 (0 is external and so the arrows have no effect on 0, otherwise 0 is used as a link to create a perpetual cycle). The pattern also works with multiples of 10, by starting at 1 and simply adding 0, giving you 10, then just apply every number in the pattern to the "tens" unit as you would normally do as usual to the "ones" unit. For example, to recall all the multiples of 7: # Look at the 7 in the first picture and follow the arrow. # The next number in the direction of the arrow is 4. So think of the next number after 7 that ends with 4, which is 14. # The next number in the direction of the arrow is 1. So think of the next number after 14 that ends with 1, which is 21. # After coming to the top of this column, start with the bottom of the next column, and travel in the same direction. The number is 8. So think of the next number after 21 that ends with 8, which is 28. # Proceed in the same way until the last number, 3, corresponding to 63. # Next, use the 0 at the bottom. It corresponds to 70. # Then, start again with the 7. This time it will correspond to 77. # Continue like this.

Multiplication by 6 to 10

Multiplying two whole numbers, each from 6 to 10 can be achieved using fingers and thumbs as follows: # Number the fingers and thumbs from 10 to 6, then 6 to 10 from left to right, as in the figure. # Bend the finger or thumb on each hand corresponding to each number, and all the fingers between them. # The number of bent fingers or thumbs gives the tens digit. # To the above is added the product of the unbent fingers or thumbs on the left and right sides.

Multiplication by 9

Multiplying 9 with a whole number from 1 to 10 can also be achieved as follows: ;Method 1 # Number the fingers and thumbs from 1 to 10 from left to right. # Bend the finger or thumb corresponding to the number. # The number of fingers or thumb to the left of the bend gives the tens digit # The number of fingers or thumb to the right of the bend gives the units digit ;Method 2 # Take the number you are multiplying 9 by and subtract 1 to get your tens digit # The ones digit will be the number you need to make the sum of the tens digit and ones digit equivalent to nine; ''e.g.'' 9\cdot7=63, 7-1=6, 9-6=3.

In abstract algebra

Tables can also define binary operations on s, s, s, and other . In such contexts they are called s. Here are the addition and multiplication tables for the Z5: *for every natural number ''n'', there are also addition and multiplication tables for the ring Z''n''. For other examples, see , and .

Chinese multiplication table

The Chinese multiplication table consists of eighty-one sentences with four or five Chinese characters per sentence, making it easy for children to learn by heart. A shorter version of the table consists of only forty-five sentences, as terms such as "nine eights beget seventy-two" are identical to "eight nines beget seventy-two" so there is no need to learn them twice. A minimum version by removing all "one" sentences, consists of only thirty-six sentences, which is most commonly used in schools in China. It is often in this order: 2x2=4, 2x3=6, ..., 2x8=16, 2x9=18, 3x3, 3x4, ..., 3x9, 4x4, ..., 4x9, 5x5,...,9x9

Warring States decimal multiplication bamboo slips

A bundle of 21 bamboo slips dated 305 BC in the period in the (清华简) collection is the world's earliest known example of a decimal multiplication table.''Nature'' articl
The 2,300-year-old matrix is the world's oldest decimal multiplication table

Standards-based mathematics reform in the US

In 1989, the (NCTM) developed new standards which were based on the belief that all students should learn higher-order thinking skills, which recommended reduced emphasis on the teaching of traditional methods that relied on rote memorization, such as multiplication tables. Widely adopted texts such as (widely known as after its producer, Technical Education Research Centers) omitted aids such as multiplication tables in early editions. NCTM made it clear in their 2006 that basic mathematics facts must be learned, though there is no consensus on whether rote memorization is the best method. In recent years, a number of nontraditional methods have been devised to help children learn multiplication facts, including video-game style apps and books that aim to teach times tables through character-based stories.

See also

* * * * , an early computer that used tables stored in memory to perform addition and multiplication


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