About the Nine Chapters

Unfortunately, we don't know the authors of the 9 chapters. Today most historians estimate that the text was written shortly after 200 BC. It could have started earlier (Liu Hui commentary mentioned even 1000 BC) or as late as 50 AD. See [1]. Thanks to Iris (a student in this course), to dig out sources [2],[4],[5],[6]. The source [2] seems to be the best resource available. It contains a detailed English translation and commentary: (we cite verbatim from this book):
The ``Suan shu shu" is an ancient Chinese collection of writings on mathematics approximately seven thousand characters in length, written on 190 bamboo strips. It was discovered together with other writings in 1983 when archaeologists opened a tomb at Zhangjiashan in Hubei province. From documentary evidence this tomb is thought to have been closed in 186 BC, early in the Western Han dynasty. The occupant of the tomb - whose name is unknown to us - appears to have been a minor local government official, who had begun his career in the service of the Qin dynasty, but started work for the Han in 202 BC: see Peng Hao (2001) 11-12. The Suan shu shu is anonymous, in the sense that we do not know the name of the person who assembled this material. A few sections of text are however marked with the common surnames Wang and Yang; whether these persons were merely scribes or were the actual authors of mathematical material is not clear.
And here a contribution of Leo Rogers something on Youtube, which also points out the important role, the document played in education. The video points out as an example the 3-4-5 triangle. This triangle will appear in our second proof seminar.