Do you know who the father of Algebra and grandfather of computer science is?

Algoritmi1Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi is one of the greatest scientists and mathematicians of history. He is the father of algebra and grandfather of computer science. Al Khwarizmi was a Persian mathematician, astronomer, geographer and scholar in the House of Wisdom in Baghdad. The House of Wisdom was a major intellectual center founded by Caliph Harun Al Rashid. Al Khwarizmi thrived while working as a member in the House of Wisdom in Baghdad under the leadership Caliph Al Mamun who is the son of Caliph Harun Al Rashid.

Contributions:

  • Computer Science: Al-Khwarizmi’s Latinized name is Algoritmi which is where the word algorithm came from. Algoritmi developed the concept of the algorithm in mathematics (which is a reason for his being called the grandfather of computer science by some people).
  • Mathematics: The name Algebra is derived from his famous book Al-Jabr wa-al-Muqabilah. His book Al-Jabr wa-al-Muqabilah is actually on applied mathematics. Its first part discusses the equations of the first and second degrees. All his proposed problems can be reduced to one of the six standard forms. He gives rules for the solution of each of the six forms and explains with examples how to reduce any given problem to one of these standard forms. The second part of the book deals with practical mensuration by giving rules for finding the area of various plane figures including the circle, and for finding the volume of a number of solids including cones and pyramids. The third and longest part concerns legacies as well as inheritance. It consists entirely of solutions to problems which arise out of legacies. He developed in detail trigonometric tables containing the sine functions, which were later extrapolated to tangent functions. Al-Khwarizmi also developed the calculus of two errors, which led him to the concept of differentiation. He also refined the geometric representation of conic sections.
  • Geography: He wrote his book on geography entitled Kitab Surat al-Ard (Book of the image of the Earth) which consists almost entirely of lists of longitudes as well as latitudes of localities and gives in a tabulated form the coordinates of the places such as cities, mountains, seas, rivers and islands. The book is arranged according to the Greek system of the seven climes giving contemporary data but the knowledge acquired by other Muslims is also incorporated into it.
  • Astronomy and Histroy: He wrote several books on Astronomy and History.

Al-Khwarizmi was one of the greatest minds in all of history. He is the one that perfected algebra and built the mathematics which we use today. All of his original books of course were written in Arabic.

Written by: Osama Waheib

February 27, 2016

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