History of Algebra

Topics: Algebra, René Descartes, Geometry Pages: 4 (1205 words) Published: April 25, 2005
Unlike geometry, algebra was not developed in Europe. Algebra was actually discovered (or developed) in the Arab countries along side geometry. Many mathematicians worked and developed the system of math to be known as the algebra of today. European countries did not obtain information on algebra until relatively later years of the 12th century. After algebra was discovered in Europe, mathematicians put the information to use in very remarkable ways. Also, algebraic and geometric ways of thinking were considered to be two separate parts of math and were not unified until the mid 17th century.

The simplest forms of equations in algebra were actually discovered 2,200 years before Mohamed was born. Ahmes wrote the Rhind Papyrus that described the Egyptian mathematic system of division and multiplication. Pythagoras, Euclid, Archimedes, Erasasth, and other great mathematicians followed Ahmes ("Letters"). Although not very important to the development of algebra, Archimedes (212BC  281BC), a Greek mathematician, worked on calculus equations and used geometric proofs to prove the theories of mathematics ("Archimedes").

Although little is known about him, Diophantus (200AD  284AD), an ancient Greek mathematician, studied equations with variables, starting the equations of algebra that we know today. Diophantus is often known as the "father of algebra" ("Diophantus"). However, many mathematicians still argue that algebra was actually started in the Arab countries by Al Khwarizmi, also known as the "father of algebra" or the "second father of algebra". Al Khwarizmi did most of his work in the 9th century. Khwarizmi was a scientist, mathematician, astrologer, and author. The term algorithm used in algebra came from his name. Khwarizmi solved linear and quadratic equations, which paved the way for algebra problems that are now taught in middle school and high school. The word algebra even came from his book titled Al-jabr. In his book, he expanded on...