**Fact File about the Invention of Algebra:** Invention: Algebra *** Date of Invention: c. 250 BC *** Name of Inventor: Diophantus of Alexandria *** Lifespan of Inventor: c. 214BC - c. 298 BC *** Nationality of Inventor: Hellenized Egyptian *** Historical Period: Ancient World (3500 BC - 600BC) *** Category: Science *** Country of Origin: Egypt *** Facts about the Inventor, Diophantus of Alexandria, and the invention of
Algebra ***
**Fact 1: **The word 'algebra' derives from the Arabic "al jabr" meaning
"reunion of broken parts," as in reducing fractions to integers in computation.
The term was first coined by Baghdad mathematician Al-Khwarizmi (c.780 - c.850?
as the title of his famous treatise on equations.
**Fact 2: Who invented Algebra?** Algebra was invented by Diophantus of
Alexandria in c. 250 BC during the Ancient World era of inventions (3500 BC -
600BC) and is known as the 'Father of Algebra'.
**Fact 3: Who invented Algebra?** The inventor of Algebra, Diophantus of Alexandria, was born on c. 214BC in Alexandria, Egypt and died on c. 298 BC.
**Fact 4: Who invented Algebra?** Diophantus of Alexandria is best known for
his 'Arithmetica', a work on the solution of algebraic equations and on the
theory of numbers. The Arithmetica is a collection of 130 problems giving
numerical solutions of determinate equations (those with a unique solution), and
indeterminate equations for which there is more than one solution, for example
2x = y.
**Fact 4: Who invented Algebra?** The early years of Diophantus of Alexandria were spent in Alexandria, Egypt where he was raised by his family. Diophantus of Alexandria was educated at the great schools of learning in Alexandria, the center of education during
during the Hellenistic and Roman periods.
**Fact 5: Who invented Algebra?** The founder of the mathematical school of
Alexandria was the celebrated mathematician Euclid (325 BC - c.265 BC), who is
often referred to as the "Father of Geometry". Amongst the famous scholars of
the Alexandrian school were Archimedes (c.287 - c.212 BC), Eratosthenes
(c.276-194 BC), the first person to calculate the Earth’s circumference and of
course Diophantus.
**Fact 6: Who invented Algebra?** The city of Alexandra was the largest in
the known world, located on the Mediterranean Sea in northern Egypt, and
famous for its magnificent library. Alexandra attracted scholars, scientists,
philosophers, artists, historians and mathematicians.
**Fact 7: Who invented Algebra?** The period of Greek civilization which
followed the death of Alexander the Great became known as the Hellenistic period
and many Greeks came to settle in the country. The nationality of Diophantus is
therefore described as Hellenized Egyptian.
**Fact 8: Who invented Algebra?** Little is known about the life of Diophantus
but we know a little about life in Alexandria, for instance when Diophantus was
alive the city had almost 25,000 houses, so we can imagine the teeming city with
so many scholars and of course many slaves.
**Fact 9: Who invented Algebra?** As a young man Diophantus would have no
doubt received received military and athletic training at the Alexandria
gymnasium as well as an education. The gymnasium also had a library, classrooms
and auditoria (lecture halls).
**Fact 10: Who invented Algebra?** There was also a massive hippodrome in the
city where processions, gymnastics, musical contests, chariot races, festivals
and other forms of public entertainment were held.
**Fact 11: Who invented Algebra?** Alexandria was a major producer of a kind
of paper called papyrus and this is what Diophantus would have used for his
studies and his work.
**Fact 12: Who invented Algebra?** The mathematics school, based on the
teachings of Euclid were strict and students were only allowed to use a ruler
and a compass in geometry lessons.
**Fact 13: Who invented Algebra?** Diophantus was an extremely gifted
student, some say a genius, and made important advances in mathematical
notation, and was one of the first mathematicians to introduce symbolism into
algebra.
**Fact 14: Who invented Algebra?** Diophantus was particularly interested in
modular arithmetic and number theory. He began to apply himself to complex
algebraic problems to find rational solutions to equations with several
unknowns, now known as Diophantine Analysis. His algebraic problems have been
used to exercise the minds of many of the world's prominent mathematicians for
nearly two thousand years
**Fact 15: Who invented Algebra?** The major work produced by Diophantus was
his "Arithmetica", a collection of 130 algebraic problems giving numerical
solutions of both determinate and indeterminate equations
**Fact 16: Who invented Algebra?** Diophantus also produced another important
work (now mostly lost) called "The Porisms" that consisted of a collection of
"helping theorem" called lemmas, a proved proposition which is used as a
stepping stone to a larger result rather than as a statement of interest by
itself.
**Fact 17: Who invented Algebra?** Relatively few of his writings have
survived but it is known that two other works of Diophantus were called 'Moriastica'
and 'On Polygonal Numbers'.
**Fact 18: Who invented Algebra?** Diophantus of Alexandria married when he
was 33 and had a son who lived for 42 years.
**Fact 19: Who invented Algebra?** Diophantus of Alexandria died c. 298 BC.
**Fact 20 - Impact:** Diophantus’s Arithmetica is one of the most influential
works in the history of mathematics as many mathematicians have studied the
Arithmetica to acquire the knowledge of the Greeks.
**Fast Info and Fact File:** Country of Origin: Egypt *** Name of Inventor: Diophantus of Alexandria *** Nationality of Inventor: Hellenized Egyptian *** Date of Invention: c. 250 BC *** Invention: Algebra *** Lifespan of Inventor: c. 214BC - c. 298 BC *** Invention Era: Ancient World (3500 BC - 600BC) *** Type: Science *** The Inventor and Invention of
Algebra *** |