Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi
was an Arab
, and mathematician
from about 160-230 AH1
, at the height of Abbasid
He is well known because his works, translated into Latin in the
12th century (primarily by Leonardo of Pisa, better known as Fibonacci), became the principal conduit of mathematical knowledge
to the West.
Of principal note is al-Kitab al-mukhtasar fi hisab al-jabr wa'l-muqabala2,
a collection of techniques of symbol manipulation. It is unclear
how many of these techniques he invented himself, and how many he adopted
from earlier (including Indian and Ancient Greek) mathematicians.
From his works arose Western use of
algebra (a corruption of Al-jabr),
Indian numbers (called "arabic numbers" in the West) including
a zero, from a work (Algoritmi de numero Indorum3)
whose Arabic text is now lost.
Decimal positional notation (known then as algorism or augrim)
As al-jabr was a really about strategies for solving mathematical
problems, his name, or rather a corruption of it, "algorithm", became
associated with such strategies.
John Napier may have invented the word logarithm to be parallel with
"algorithm". He never explained where he got the word from; another
mathematician, Henry Briggs, ascribes a Greek origin to the word.
He also published Kitab surat al-ard4
, a gazetteer
improving on Claudius Ptolemy
about 780-850 AD
The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing”
"Al-Khwarizmi Concerning the Hindu Art of Reckoning”.
"The Image of the Earth", or more simply, "Geography