# The Father of algebra

His life

 ABU JA'FAR Mohammed ibn-Musa al-Khwarizmi was born sometime before 800 A.D. and died after 847 A.D. He flourished as a mathematician and astronomer who was a faculty member at the "House of Wisdom" established in Baghdad by Al-Mamun. Harun al-Rashid became the fifth Caliph of the Abbasid dynasty on 14 September 786, about the time that al-Khwarizmi was born. Harun ruled, from his court in the capital city of Baghdad, over the Islam empire. He brought culture to his court and tried to establish the intellectual disciplines which at that time were not flourishing in the Arabic world. He had two sons, the eldest was al-Amin while the younger was al-Mamun. Harun died in 809.  Al-Mamun  became Caliph and ruled the empire from Baghdad. He continued the patronage of learning started by his father and founded an academy called the House of Wisdom where Greek philosophical and scientific works were translated.

Al-Khwarizmi's  work

 Al-Khwarizmi and his colleagues the Banu Musa were scholars at the House of Wisdom in Baghdad. Their tasks there involved the translation of Greek scientific manuscripts and they also studied, and wrote on, algebra, geometry and astronomy. Certainly al-Khwarizmi worked under the patronage of Al-Mamun and he dedicated two of his texts to the Caliph. These were his treatise on algebra and his treatise on astronomy. The algebra treatise Hisab al-jabr w'al-muqabala was the most famous and important of all of al-Khwarizmi's works. It is the title of this text that gives us the word "algebra". Here "al-jabr" means "completion" and is the process of removing negative terms from an equation. For example, using one of al-Khwarizmi's own examples, "al-jabr" transforms x2 = 40 x - 4 x2 into 5 x2 = 40 x. The term "al-muqabala" means "balancing" and is the process of reducing positive terms of the same power when they occur on both sides of an equation. For example, two applications of "al-muqabala" reduces 50 + 3 x + x2 = 29 + 10 x to 21 + x2 = 7 x (one application to deal with the numbers and a second to deal with the roots).   For more information click below http://www.ms.uky.edu/~carl/ma330/project2/al-khwa21.html http://members.aol.com/bbyars1/algebra.html http://www.aug.edu/dvskel/MichSP93.htm   click below for information in Spanish http://www.dcc.uchile.cl/~rbaeza/inf/alk.html