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Our Glaciers: Then and Now activity kit helps you see the changes taking place in glaciers around the world. See all our activity kits and classroom activities.

Abu Ja'far al-Khwarizmi

Abu Ja'far al-Khwarizmi was an Arab mathematician who lived between 780-850. At a time when the diffusion of ideas was very slow due to the lack of cross-cultural communication, al-Khwarizmi wrote a book, Hisab al-jabr wal-muqabala, which contained many important mathematical concepts and formulae of the Middle East. One of these concepts was completing the square. The "al-jabr" in the title gave us the word "algebra."

This book revolutionized western (European) mathematics: It introduced the decimal system, rules for solving linear and quadratic equations, and doing geometry.

Al-Khwarizmi's impact on today's mathematics is evidenced by our use of the word "algorithm", which is the Latin translation of his name.


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Learn about Earth and space science, and have fun while doing it! The games section of our online store includes a climate change card game and the Traveling Nitrogen game!

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF