The Basics of Algebra

What is the origin of the word “algebra”?

The word “algebra” comes from the title of the book Al jabr w’al muqābalah, by Persian mathematician Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khuwarizmi (783-c. 850; also seen as al-Khowarizmi or al-Khwarizmi). The book is roughly translated as Transposition and Reduction, in which he explained the basics of algebraic methods. (For more information about the history of algebra, see “History of Mathematics.”)


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