Although Charles Babbage is associated with the computer, a 9th-century Muslim polymath, Al-Khwarizmi is considered the grandfather of the computer.
The term algebra can trace its root back from the Arabic term al-Jabar, a manuscript was written by a Muslim polymath Al Khawarzmi. He is considered the father of algebra and grandfather of computer science.
Al Khawarzmi’s “Al Kitab al Mukhtasar fi Hisab al jab Wal Muqabla,” which is The compendious book the compendious book on calculation by completion and balancing. It is considered the foundation of modern-day algebra.
Although he was not the first one to solve the quadratic equation, he was indeed the first mathematician to provide the general method and technique to solve them. The term is associated with Al-Khawarzmi’s Latinized name “Algoritmi”.
He is also regarded as the father of algebra, and even the term algebra comes from the title of his book “al-Jabr.”
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The most remarkable thing about this book is that it has no single equations as Al-Khawarzmi wrote the whole book in words alone.
Who was Al-Khawarzmi?
Muhammad ibn Musa was born in 780 around the region of Uzbekistan as his name suggests he belonged to Khawarizm. The Abbassid Caliph Mamun assigned him the director of Bait-ul-Hikmah or House of Wisdom, a scientific laboratory in Baghdad. Established in 832, Bait-ul-Hikmah was the leading center of learning and knowledge then.
Al-Khwarizmi adopted “zero” as a number, and the innovation opened new dimensions of mathematical possibilities and complexities.
Besides math, Al-Khawarzmi wrote a compendium on geography that listed the latitude and longitude of around 2400 cities around the world.
He made an inevitable contribution to mathematics, astronomy, geography, and cartography. He wrote, “Concerning the Hindu Art of Reckoning”. Three hundred years later, his book was rediscovered and translated into Latin, introducing to the West the Hindu-Arabic numerals and replaced the complicated Roman system.
Al-Khawarizmi, the grandfather of computer science
For 700 years after Al-Khawarzmi’s death, European mathematicians continued to cite him as the sole authority.
In medieval times, algorasmus simply meant the decimal number system. By the 13th century, it had become the English word. But it wasn’t until the late 19th century that algorithm came to mean as a step-by-step rule to solving the problem.
In the early 20th century, the British scientist Alan Turing worked out how, in theory, a machine could follow algorithmic instructions and solve mathematics.
However, until Turang, whoever developed on the field of algebra, it was little more than the improvement over Al-Khawarzmi’s work.
There might be many mothers of the science, but there was only one father of algebra, Al Khawarzmi.
Perhaps Al-Khawarzmi’s most important contribution to mathematics was his advocacy of the Hindu numerical system, which the Muslim polymath recognized as having the power and efficiency needed to revolutionize Islamic and Western mathematics. The Hindu numerals were soon adopted by the entire Islamic world. Later, Adelard of Bath translated Al-Khwarizmi’s work into Latin in the 12th century, and with the influence of Fibonacci’s “Liber Abaci,” they would be adopted throughout Europe as well.