Abu Ja’far Al-Khwarizmi

Topics: Muhammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī, Algebra Pages: 3 (1085 words) Published: March 29, 2011
Abu Ja’far Al-Khwarizmi
Abu Ja’far Al-Khwarizmi was a Muslim mathematician in the late 8th century. His full name is Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi. He heavily influenced our math today, and he developed a base for math today. (“Periodic”). Al-Khwarizmi was a very intelligent mathematician who wrote a book on algebra and geometry which influences today’s world of mathematics.

There is very little known about Al-Khwarizmi’s early life (MacTutor). He was born in 780 AD, and died in 850 AD (World Biography). He worked at the House of Wisdom (in Baghdad), where his he studied algebra, geometry, and astrology (“Periodic”).

Al-Khwarizmi wrote a book about algebra and geometry. He named it the Hisab al-jabr w’al-muquabala. The book consisted of mostly algebra, but some geometry. Today, the word algebra comes from “al-jabr”. In this book, “He only used words to describe his expressions, no symbols are used” (“Periodic”). So, instead of writing: 2+3=5, he wrote: two plus three equals five. Most of his math in the book was influenced by the Hindu mathematician Brahmagupta (Mac Tutor). In the book, he demonstrates that algebra and geometry are similar (Book Rags).

There is a lot of simple algebra in his book. First he shows what natural numbers are, and how to use the ten digits. Then he shows how to solve equations using PEMDAS. First, he shows how to simplify the expressions in the parentheses. Then, he explains how to simplify exponents. He shows that multiplication and division should be done next, and then addition and subtraction (“Periodic”). After showing how to use PEMDAS, Al-Khwarizmi shows the easiest way to simplify. “Al-jabr” means positive in Arabic, so he explains how to make the variables positive (MacTutor). He shows that 0=2x-5y in the positive form is 5y=2x. He also explains that “al-muquabala” means simplify. He explains that 2x+3x in its simplest form is 5x (MacTutor).

There is also some complex algebra found in his book, like...

Cited: "Abu Ja 'far Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi." The MacTutor History of Mathematic archive. MT, July 1999. Web. 8 Dec 2010.
<http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Mathematicians/Al-Khwarizmi.html>.
"Abu Ja 'far Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi Biography." Book Rags. Book Rags, n.d. Web. 8 Dec 2010.
<http://www.bookrags.com/biography/abu-jafar-muhammad-ibn-musa-al-khwarizmi-wom/>.
“Khwarizmi, Muhammad ibn Musa al- ((?)-c.850).” Encyclopedia of World Biography. Thomson Gale, 1998. Academic OneFile. Web 12 Dec. 2010.
http://find.galegroup.com/
"Periodic Table of Mathematics." Stetson University. Stetson University, n.d. Web 7 Dec 2010. <http://www2.stetson.edu/~efriedma/periodictable/html/Am.html>.
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