0780 – al-Khwarizmi – bio

Muhammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī was born in Khwarizm, Persia (now Uzbekistan) around the year 780. He is most famous for his book on algebra titled, “The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing”. He is considered to be the father of algebra because this book was the first about the systematic solution of linear and quadratic equations. The term al-jabr (meaning “completion”) was used in the Arabic title of the book and eventually morphed into the word, algebra. Likewise, his name translated into Latin was Algoritmi, which eventually became the modern word, algorithm.

In algebra, equations are solved by completion and balancing, or the process of adding quantities to each side of the equation which allow simplifying complex elements until the equation is easier to solve. Before this, mathematics primarily used geometric techniques to find solutions.

Al-Khwarizmi also made significant contributions to astronomy and geography.

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