Travis Nygard publishes journal article about Maya computations

Travis Nygard, associate professor of art history and co-director of the Caestecker Gallery, has published the article “Complex Maya Computations: Math, Time, Astronomy, and Hieroglyphs” in the Dakota Digital Review, journal published by the North Dakota University System.

“The article compares ancient Maya thinking to the digital world of today,” Nygard says. “It explores how ancient Maya people did math, using base 20, and how that was translated into their calendar. Sadly, the ability to read ancient Maya hieroglyphic writing was forgotten during the colonial era, but happily we can read it today due to the intensive work of scholars. The essay also tells that story, comparing it to the code-breaking of modern times.”


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