Hindu-Arabic Numerals

There are slides devoted to this topic: Lecture 1, pp. 24-27.


Visit “The Arabic Numeral System” to read a well-researched history of the Arabic numeral system’s development. And to read more about Indian notation, read “The Indian Numeral System,” written by the same authors.

To learn about the earliest known recording of the notation 0, read “All for Naught,” an article exploring an ancient Indian temple in which the number 0 was discovered.


This instructional video tracks the development of numeral systems from strings of ones, to Roman Numerals, and finally to the Hindu-Arabic numerals. The presenter explains the benefits and possibilities of the Hindu-Arabic number system as compared to those which had come before it.

Journal Articles

“The Development of Hindu-Arabic and Traditional Chinese Arithmetic” discusses the similarities in the origins and evolutions of these two arithmetic systems. The article focuses mainly on explaining the arithmetic methods found in ancient scholarly documents.

Read “The Development of Hindu-Arabic and Traditional Chinese Arithmetic,” by Lam Lay Yong


The Hindu-Arabic Numerals, by David Eugene Smith and Louis Charles Karpinski

Originally published in 1911 and now available in e-Book form, this book covers the origins and propagation of the Hindu-Arabic numeral system.