Algebra is used for many different things in everyday life. People have been using algebra for thousands of years starting in the 9th century. Algebra was discovered in Babylonia by Muhammad ibn Musa alKhwarizmi. He was a mathematician and astronomer, he is also known as the “Father of Algebra”. Algebra was invented to help aid the Babylonians in solving their rhetorical algebraic equations. Many people use algebra so today it is considered a life skill to know how to do it.
Muhammad ibn Musa alKhwarizmi was a mathematician and astronomer, in 9th century Babylonia. Muhammad invented algebra in order to solve equations for unknown quantities. Muhammad was looked up to by many people because he worked the House of Wisdom. The House of Wisdom or the Grand Library of Baghdad, was a major Abbasid public academy and intellectual center. It was a very large library home to many astronomers and was around during the Islamic Golden Age. Babylonia was a neighboring town to Baghdad which is located in Iraq.
The word algebra was invented by Muhammad in his book “Kitab al-mukhtasar fi hisab al-jabr wal-muqabala”, which transaltes to “The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing”. This book talked about practical things like land distribution, rules on inheritance, and distributing salaries. He wrote this book to help solve real world problems and help his city. His book also outlined how polynomial equations should be solved to the second degree.
Muhammed wasn’t the only Arabic mathematician to contribute to algebra. Another important mathematician with algebra was Omar Khayyám. He wrote many books about solving the equations to the third degree. His work has been seen to be the most advanced out of any mathematician who studied algebra. He is also known for making cubic equations simpler.
Algebra has also been found in Egypt around the 9th century but it is believed that the Babylonia version was much more advanced. The algebra in egypt is thought to be invented first. Egyption algebra was invented by Diophantus in 3rd century Alexandria, Egypt. The Greeks also invented a form of algebra called geometric algebra. It was used to help solve linear equations. Algebra was mainly used in Egypt and Babylonia, these two countries are thought to be the center of development of algebra, but each country used algebra in two very different ways. Algebra is thought to be invented around 1900 to 1600 BC. because scientists have found a tablet from that time with the Pythagorean theorem. Babylonia algebra was much more advanced and the Babylonias studied cubic and quadratic equations. Where the Egyptians studied more linear equations just like the Greeks.
In the 16th century there were two very important men who helped bring algebra to Europe. Their names are Michael Stifel and Johannes Widmann. Michael Stifel played a big role in teaching Europeans about algebra because he wrote books about it in German. That was the first algebraic text to be written in German. Johannes Widmann also played a big role because he gave lectures about algebra and its uses in Europe. A guy named François Viète also helped out with algebra by inventing “newer” algebra.
In the 17th century the use of “x” which represents an unknown variable came into the algebra world. Many historians have decided that a man named Rene Descartes was responsible for this invention. He also added other letters but kept “x” as the main variable. It is thought that he first published the use of “x” in his treatise called “La Gemontrie”, which he published in 1637. It is still a symbol that we use today.
Here are some basic algebra equations that have been around for a while. The equation for Pythagorean Theorem is simple, a2 + b2= c2 people use this to solve right triangle equations. It is thought to have been invented around 1900-1600 B.C. in Babylonia. Pythagorean Theorem is used on any problem that will make a number squared.
Another one is slope formula which is y=mx+b. This formula is used to find slope so you can graph. The formula for a straight line is M = (Y2 – Y1) / (X2 – X1). The answer M can be either negative or positive, which means if the slope value is positive then the line is increasing. If the slope value is negative then the line is decreasing. Vertical lines do not have a slope, but horizontal lines have a slope of zero.
There are a lot of jobs that use algebra. There are some jobs that uses it everyday such as; algebra teachers, astronomers, chemists, and physicists. Some white collar jobs that use algebra are; air traffic controllers, architects, computer engineers, nutritionists, engineers, geologists, jewelers, and morticians to name a few. There are also a number of blue collar jobs that use algebra such as; carpenters, concrete masons, engine mechanics, electricians, elevator installers, power plant operators, welders, and water treatment operators to name some.
An example of a job using algebra is if a mechanic needs to know what size screw to get then he can use an algebraic equation to figure it out. Another way to use algebra in a job is if you are cooking food but don’t know how much food, you can use an equation to add extra ingredients. Another way you can use algebra in everyday life is figuring out how much gas you can get with however much money you have.
Nowadays, teachers play a big role in contributing to algebra. In highschool algebra teachers teach kids how to use it so they can get a job. A famous professor who made a contribution to algebra is Michael Artin. He was awarded the Leroy P. Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement in 2002 for his contributions in commutative and non-commutative algebra. He also created the concept of algebraic space. He was a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
People have been using algebra for thousands of years. As technology improves algebra also improves. There have been many contributions made by people to algebra. Some important people who have made contributions are; Michael Artin, Rene Descartes, François Viète, Johannes Widmann, Michael Stifel, Diophantus, and Omar Khayyám. The man that made the most contributions though was Muhammad ibn Musa alKhwarizmi, because he invented it. Without them algebra would not be here today to help solve everyday problems.
In conclusion algebra plays a big role in everyday life. It is an important life skill to learn and it is also important to learn to get a job. It is also the basis of math. Algebra has been around for thousands of years and will be used for many more.