Ibn Musa Al-Khowarizmi, the father of algebra,
was a mathematician and astronomer. He was summoned
to Baghdad by Al-Mamun and appointed court astronomer.
From the title of his work, Hisab Al-Jabr wal
Mugabalah (Book of Calculations, Restoration and
Reduction), Algebra (Al-Jabr) derived its name.
book On the Calculation with Hindu Numerals, written
about 825, was principally responsible for the
diffusion of the Indian system of numeration (Arabic
numerals) in the Islamic lands and the West.
left his name to the history of mathematics in
the form of Algorism (the old name for arithmetic).
emphasised that he wrote his algebra book to serve
the practical needs of the people concerning matters
of inheritance, legacies, partition, lawsuits
the twelfth century Gerard of Cremona and Roberts
of Chester translated the algebra of Al-Khowarizmi
into Latin. Mathematicians used it all over the
world until the sixteenth century.
systems had used different letters of the alphabet
to represent numbers or cumbersome Roman numerals,
and the new system was far superior, for it allowed
people to multiply and divide easily and check
their work. The merchant Leonardo Fibonacci of
Pisa, who had learned about Arabic numerals in
Tunis, wrote a treatise rejecting the abacus in
favor of the Arab method of reckoning, and as
a result, the system of Hindu-Arabic numeration
caught on quickly in Central Italy. By the fourteenth
century, Italian merchants and bankers had abandoned
the abacus and were doing their calculations using
pen and paper, in much the same way we do today.
addition to his treatise on numerals, al-Khwarizmi
also wrote a revolutionary book on resolving quadratic
equations. These were given either as geometric
demonstrations or as numerical proofs in an entirely
new mode of expression. The book was soon translated
into Latin, and the word in its title, al-jabr,
or transposition, gave the entire process its
name in European languages, algebra, understood
today as the generalization of arithmetic in which
symbols, usually letters of the alphabet such
as A, B, and C, represent numbers. Al-Khwarizmi
had used the Arabic word for "thing"
(shay) to refer to the quantity sought, the unknown.
When al-Khwarizmi's work was translated in Spain,
the Arabic word shay was transcribed as xay, since
the letter x was pronounced as sh in Spain. In
time this word was abbreviated as x, the universal
algebraic symbol for the unknown.
of Chester's translation of al-Khwarzmi's treatise
on algebra opens with the words dixit Algorithmi,
"Algorithmi says." In time, the mathematician's
epithet of his Central Asian origin, al-Khwarizmi,
came in the West to denote first the new process
of reckoning with Hindu-Arabic numerals, algorithmus,
and then the entire step-by-step process of solving
mathematical problems, algorithm.
Muslims of the 9th Century, including Abu al Wafaa'
turned Algebra into science. They created the
zero and the decimal point.
was the first person to demonstrate the sine theorom
for spherical triangle: sin (a+b) = sin a cos
b - cos a sin b. The word 'sine' is the exact
translation of the arabic word Jayb.