Show Notes: Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi

Tracy Wilson

Statue of Al-Khwarizmi in Uzbekistan. Image by © Melvyn Longhurst/Corbis

The stereotypical high-school gripe about algebra is something along the lines of, "When will I ever use this in real life?" But algebra has completely real-world origins: When Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi wrote his famous text, "The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing," his examples came from things like inheritance law and canal-building. Al-Khwarizmi wrote books on geography, astrology and numerals as well. Today's episode talks about his achievements and how they fit in to the greater world of mathematical discovery.

For more knowledge: How Math Works

Episode download link: Algebra's Arabic Roots

Holly's research:

"Al-Khw?rizm." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. 2008. Retrieved from Encyclopedia.com:http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-2830902300.html

Bowen, Joanthan P. "A Brief History of Algebra and Computing: An Eclectic Oxonian View." Oxford University Computing Laboratory. Jan. 11, 1994. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCsQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.researchgate.net%2Fpublication%2F2827207_A_Brief_History_of_Algebra_and_Computing_An_Eclectic_Oxonian_View%2Ffile%2F9fcfd50c60fdee96f0.pdf&ei=kGRDU8LaL6-wsASwzoCoBw&usg=AFQjCNGOW8FaQ0jYFIGzJmOdlKqkBfCz2w&sig2=kMCWYYrL-RPWa4AiYaE_8A&bvm=bv.64367178,d.cWc

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. "al-Khw?rizm?." http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/317171/al-Khwarizmi

Heeffer, Albrecht. "A Conceptual Analysis of Early Arabic Algebra." http://logica.ugent.be/albrecht/thesis/ArabAlgebra.pdf

Hussain, Dr. Abid. "Islamic Laws of Inheritance." http://www.islam101.com/sociology/inheritance.htm

Khan, Sal. "Origins of Algebra." Khan Academy. Feb. 10 2012.https://www.khanacademy.org/math/algebra/introduction-to-algebra/overview_hist_alg/v/origins-of-algebra

Khuwarizmi, Muhammad ibn Musá, fl. 813-846; Robert, of Chester, fl. 1143; Karpinski, Louis Charles, 1878-1956. "Algebra of al-Khowarizmi." New York. Macmillan. 1915. https://archive.org/details/robertofchesters00khuw

Matson, John. "The Origin of Zero." Scientific American. Aug. 21, 2009. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/history-of-zero/

Syed, Dr. Ibrahim B. "Al-Khwarizmi: The Father of Algebra." On Islam. Oct. 12, 2011. http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/research-studies/islamic-history/454243-al-khwarizmi-the-father-of-algebra.html

You can listen to Stuff You Missed in History Class via iTunes and the Stuff You Missed in History Class RSS feed. Follow us on Twitter at @missedinhistory, and you can keep up with us on the official Stuff You Missed in History Class Facebook page. We're also on Tumblr and Pinterest.