Abū al-Hasan ibn Alī al-Qalasādī

Abū al-Hasan ibn Alī al-Qalasādī


Symbolic algebra

In Islamic mathematics, al-Qalasadi made the first attempt at creating an algebraic notation since Ibn al-Banna two centuries earlier, who was himself the first to make such an attempt since Diophantus and Brahmagupta in ancient times. The notations of his predecessors, however, lacked symbols for mathematical operations. [Harv|Boyer|1991|loc="Revival and Decline of Greek Mathematics" p. 178 "The chief difference between Diophantine syncopation and the modern algebraic notation is the lack of special symbols for operations and relations, as well as of the exponential notation."] Al-Qalasadi's algebraic notation was the first to have symbols for these functions and was thus "the first steps toward the introduction of algebraic symbolism." He represented mathematical symbols using characters from the Arabic alphabet, where:

*"wa" means "and" for addition (+)
*"illa" means "less" for subtraction (-)
*"fi" means "times" for multiplication (*)
*"ala" means "over" for division (/)
*"j" represents "jadah" meaning "root"
*"sh" represents "shay" meaning "thing" for a variable (x)
*"m" represents "mal" for a square (x2)
*"k" represents "kab" for a cube (x3)
*"l" represents "yadilu" for equality (=)

See also

*List of Arab scientists and scholars
*Islamic mathematics



* Harvard reference
first=Carl B.
authorlink=Carl Benjamin Boyer
title=A History of Mathematics
edition=Second Edition
publisher=John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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