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Al-Khwarizmi was a brilliant mathematician and scholar who lived during the Golden Age of Islam in the 9th century. He was born around 780 AD in the region of Khwarazm, which is in modern-day Uzbekistan. Later, he moved to Baghdad, the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate, where he worked at the House of Wisdom, a renowned centre for learning. Al-Khwarizmi was part of a vibrant intellectual community that included scholars from different parts of the world, and he contributed significantly to the advancement of knowledge in various fields.

Al-Khwarizmi is most famous for his work in mathematics, particularly in the development of algebra. In fact, the word "algebra" comes from the title of his book "Al-Kitab al-Mukhtasar fi Hisab al-Jabr wal-Muqabala," which translates to "The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing." This book laid the foundations for algebra as we know it today, introducing methods for solving quadratic equations that are still taught in schools. He also contributed to the development of algorithms, a term that originates from the Latin translation of his name. Algorithms are step-by-step procedures for calculations, essential in both mathematics and computer science.

Apart from his contributions to mathematics, Al-Khwarizmi made significant advances in other fields as well. He worked on astronomy, compiling tables that were used for centuries to predict the positions of the planets and stars. His work in geography led to the creation of one of the earliest maps of the known world. Additionally, he wrote about the Hindu-Arabic numeral system, which eventually replaced Roman numerals in Europe, revolutionising the way we perform calculations. His scholarly efforts spanned multiple disciplines, demonstrating his wide-ranging intellect and curiosity.

Al-Khwarizmi's contributions are fundamental to the development of modern mathematics, science, and technology. His work in algebra and algorithms continues to influence how we approach problem-solving in various fields. Learning about Al-Khwarizmi is important because it highlights the global and historical roots of many concepts that are central to our education today. His legacy reminds us of the power of knowledge and how ideas can transcend time and culture to shape the world we live in.

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THE HISTORY OF MATHEMATICS PAGE

Print this large QR code and display it on your classroom's History of Mathematics timeline.

When people scan the code with their phones, they'll be directed to this page about Al-Khwarizmi.

https://www.transum.org/Maths/History/Mathematician.asp?ID=15