Contributions of Islamic Culture
Al-Khwarizmi: "The Father of Algebra"
Al-Khwarizmi was a scholar, astronomer, and mathematician in the 9th century. He wrote many books that contributed to mathematics. The word "algebra" comes from the title of one of his books. Another one of his books was translated into Latin in the 12th century and is now one of the most important math book in European Universities.
Algebra is used to solve problems involving unknown numbers. For example, in the equation "6x+8=20" there is a missing number called a variable. Using algebra, we can figure out that x is equal to 2.
The translation of Al-Khwarizmi book also helped to popularize Arabic numerals in Europe. This was a new way of writing numbers, fractions and decimals. This system of writing made business and trade much easier for Muslims. This is because it was much easier for people to do calculations and check their work. Arabic numerals are still used today.
Zero - Something Empty
The word zero comes from the Arabic word meaning "something empty." Ancient people used written symbols for other numbers and not zero, but zero is very important for calculations. For example, if you subtract 2 from 2, you wouldn't have zero as your answer. Zero also makes it easier to write large numbers so you can tell 123 from 1,230.