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The father of algebra is known as Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi. Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi was a Muslim mathematician and astronomer of the 9th Century. In his short book, Kitab al-Jabr, this mathematics genius used the word "al-Jabr," which was later translated to Algebra. But who invented algebra?

In this article, we will venture deep into the world's archives and find in detail the origin and history of Algebra. First things first, what is the definition of Algebra?

Algebra is the branch of mathematics that deals with the use of symbols to manipulate or to calculate a given unknown value known as a variable. The variables are commonly denoted by the use of alphabetic letters. The most commonly used letters are a, b, c, x, y, and z. They are usually used in algebraic equations. For example,


In the equation above, we do not know the value of a, but with a simple knowledge in Algebra, we can easily calculate the value of the unknown a. The a, in this case, is the variable.

The complexity of Algebra depends on the number of unknown variables. A more complex algebraic equation can be

  • 2a+4b=46
  • 3a+ 7b= 36
  • With a clear knowledge in the solving the algebraic equations simultaneously, the best values of the unknown variables a and b can be determined.

    That well said, let's get into the origin and history of algebra.

    Origin and History of Algebra or Who Invented Algebra

    The history of algebra can be categorized into three main parts

  • The written stage which is also known as the rhetoric stage. This stage, the algebra was expressed as words in the equations
  • The syncopated stage where some symbols had been started to be used in the equations
  • The modern symbolic stage where only complete symbols are used as algebraic equations
  • The origin of algebra can be traced back to the ancient Babylon and Egypt. The ancient algebraic equations were written on the Rhind Papyrus. A Rhind Papyrus was a scroll that the ancient Egyptians used to write many different mathematics problems in around 1650. Some portions of the Rhind Papyrus are legally reserved at Brooklyn Museum, NY. On the first stage, the contributors to this stage are not well known. However, for the second stage, the credited "Fathers of Algebra" were well recognized as Mohammad ibn Mousa Al Khwarizmi and the great Diophantus.

    Contributions of Mohammad Ibn Mousa Al Khwarizmi as a Man who Invented Algebra

    Al-Khwarizmi is well known for developing balancing and reducing algebraic equation's methods as well as algorithms. The algorithms are today used as the rules and operations for calculating the algebraic equations.

    In the 19th Century, Mathematician Al Khwarizmi wrote a manuscript famously known as Kitab al-mukhtasar fi hisab al- jabr wal-muqabala. When translated into English (The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing). This manuscript as today helped to provide answers to land distribution as well as the development of better comfort airplanes.

    Contributions of Diophantus of Alexandria as a Man who Invented Algebra

    Diophantus of Alexandria is a well-known creek who highly contributed in the field of Algebra. In his 13 books entitled "Arithmetic," Diophantus outlines the method of solving linear equations. The 13 books generally contain question and answers that have pioneered further algebraic notation.

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