The roots of algebra can be traced back thousands and thousands of years to the ancient Babylonians. They used a numerical system that was much different than ours today. But the foundational idea was the same. They began using their number system to solve linear equations and make approximations. It’s interested to note that the Babylonians were not interested in precise solutions. They were more interested in approximations. 

This is one thing we like to teach in both algebra and calculus: the importance of approximations. A lot of times we can solve problems more simply and effectively by making approximations. This is something most students overlook. That’s why we encourage students to make approximations as they move through algebra of the course of the year.

Making approximations also prepares students for calculus and pre-calculus because those courses rely extensively on a student’s ability to quickly approximate complex information and graphs. 

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