The abacus is a basic mathematical computing device. It is still widely used today in Africa, Japan, Russia, China and other countries as a visual aid to facilitate the learning of mathematical concepts.

The term abacus comes from the Greek word “abax," which means "computing board" or "calculating tablet," according to UCMAS. During ancient times, merchants used the abacus to keep an accurate accounting of their goods and profits. The abacus is used to multiply, divide, subtract and perform other mathematical functions using beads that are arranged in sets of tens. It is especially useful for teaching mathematics to blind students.