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Algorithms, Algebra & Astronomy: Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi

Ever wondered who paved the way for the age of algorithms?

It was a 9th-century Muslim genius, mathematician, geographer & astronomer, Abu Abdallah Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi - also known as the Father of Algebra.

Even the term algorithm is Al-Khwarizmi translated into Latin! The scientist and mathematician Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi lived from 780 to 850 AD in Persia and Iraq.

Al-Khwarizmi's most significant contribution to mathematics was the development of algebra. His book, "Kitab al-Jabr wal-Muqabala" (The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing), introduced systematic methods for solving linear and quadratic equations.

The term "algebra" is derived from the Arabic word "al-jabr," which appears in the title of al-Khwarizmi's book. It refers to the process of transposing terms from one side of an equation to the other.

The title of his treatise 'al-jabr wa al muqabala', shortened to 'al-jabr', can be translated as 'the science of restoring what is missing and equating like with like'. الْكِتَابْ الْمُخْتَصَرْ فِيْ حِسَابْ الْجَبْرْ وَالْمُقَابَلَة

In addition to algebra, al-Khwarizmi made significant contributions to the fields of astronomy and trigonometry.

Al-Khwarizmi's astronomical observations and calculations helped refine the solar calendar and contributed to the development of accurate timekeeping devices.

He compiled detailed astronomical tables, known as the "Zij al-Sindhind," which provided information on the movements of the sun, moon, and planets. These tables were widely used by astronomers in the Islamic world.

Al-Khwarizmi's astronomical tables also influenced European astronomers and played a crucial role in the translation and transmission of scientific knowledge during the Middle Ages.

Medieval Astronomers With Astrolabe

His work on trigonometry included developing methods for calculating the lengths of shadows cast by various objects, which had practical applications in determining the heights of buildings and objects.

Al-Khwarizmi was closely associated with the House of Wisdom (Bayt al-Hikmah) in Baghdad, an important center of learning during the Islamic Golden Age. The House of Wisdom played a crucial role in preserving & translati