Father of Algebra

Topics: Quadratic equation, Elementary algebra, Polynomial Pages: 2 (556 words) Published: July 29, 2012
The Father of Algebra
In the source, Shawn Overbay writes a biography on The Father of Algebra, Al-Khwarizmi. Overbay shows and explains the equations that Al-Khwarizmi invented and how they were used. In the source, the author states “Al-Khwarizmi wrote numerous books that played important roles in arithmetic and algebra” (Overbay). Not only was The Father of Algebra a mathematician, he was also an inventor, an Astronomer, and a Scholar. The visual source is a page from Al-Khwarizmi’s Kitab Al-Jabr Wal-Muqabala, the oldest Arabic works on algebra. Comparing the visual source and the written source helps historians understand how our modern day mathematics was born and how they played a role in the 9th Century. These sources enhance the understanding of algebraic equations and arithmetic that was used in the 9th century and how it is still used in the modern day era.

We can learn a lot about The Father of Algebra, Al-Khwarizmi from these sources. Shawn Overbay goes into great detail on the Mathematician’s work. In the Latin translation of Al-Khwarizmi’s algebra, Overbay talks about simple equations that the mathematician created, squares equal to roots (x2 = square root of 2), squares equal to numbers (x2 = 2), roots equal to numbers (square root of x = 2), squares and roots equal to number (x2+3x = 25), squares and numbers equal to roots (x2+1 = 9), and roots and numbers equal to squares (3x+4 = x2). One of the more complex equations Al-Khwarizmi used was the quadratic equation. This equation is used to solve for the unknown which in this equation would be x (ax2+bx+c=0). When in that specific form, Al-Khwarizmi is asking, what is x when the function is equal to zero? Al-Khwarizmi’s theory was that when you take two numbers and add them together you will get c, those same two numbers multiplied together will give you b, therefore factoring down to (ax+u=0) and (ax+u=0). At this point it’s just basic arithmetic to solve for x and you should get two...
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