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Abu Ja'far al-Khwarizmi - Windows to the Universe

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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