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View Diary: Teacher Arrested, Has Ties to Al-Gebra (53 comments)

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  •  I was wondering when someone would (12+ / 0-)
    connect the terror dots to Al Gebra.  It terrorized me until college!

    This machine kills fascists!

    by Zotz on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 09:10:13 AM PST

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      •  Of course! (8+ / 0-)

        That explains why Bush hates Arabs so much!

        The Prince of Peace has been usurped by the God of War.

        by Spoc42 on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 09:27:26 AM PST

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      •  Really, I always thought algebra (4+ / 0-)

        was created by my Jr High teacher so she could engage in state sanctioned torture of the young.

      •  Slight misconception there (4+ / 0-)

        Algebra was actually brought to our attention by the Arabs but was actually based on Hindi mathematical principals. If memory serves the original work on the subject was named something like "Addition and Subtraction in the Method of the Indians".

        I stand by the truth, that way I don't have to be near any Republicans.

        by ontheleftcoast on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 09:47:52 AM PST

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      •  Nope. The number zero, decimal and binary number (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ontheleftcoast
        systems (along with the underlying concept of a place-value system, i.e. each digit has both a positional value as well as its own numerical magnitude), arithmetic using those numbers, algebra (thus the concept of indeterminate variables) and (later in the 12th century) differential calculus were are all invented by Indian mathematicians.

        Apparently, that knowledge was transmitted to the Persian/Arabian world (in particular via the books written by al-Khwarzmi and al-Kindi, two good Persian/Arabic mathematicians that emerged a few decades after the initial transmission) in the 8th century, and from there to Spain and Europe. Buddhist monks appeared to have carried it to the Eastern part of the world:


        From: Indian Mathematics: Redressing the balance, by Ian G Pearce

        Chap. 8(III) Brahmagupta, and the influence on Arabia

            The spread of Buddhism (around 500 AD) into China resulted in a period of cultural and scientific exchanges lasting several centuries. Chinese scholars are known to have translated the work of Brahmagupta; this highlights not only the quality of the work but the influence it had on the world outside India. R Gupta mentions four 'Brahminical' translations in a paper. During this time the decimal system and notation was adopted by Chinese scholars and as R Gupta states:
            ...Indian mathematical astronomy exerted a great influence in China during the (glorious) Thang Period (618-907). [RG4, P 11]
            The lasting legacy of the BSS however was its translation by Arab scholars and its contribution to the 'forward progress' of mathematics. These translations, along with translated work of Aryabhata and (possibly) the Surya Siddhanta were responsible for alerting the Arabs, and the West to Indian mathematics (and astronomy), as G Joseph states:
            ...This was to have momentous consequences for the development of the two subjects. [GJ, P 267]

            Of particular interest is the well told story of the Indian scholar who traveled to Baghdad, at the behest of Caliph al-Mansur (early ruler of the Arab Empire). R Gupta reports the story as such:
            ...In the year 156 (772/773 AD) there came to Caliph al-Mansur a man (an Ujjain scholar by the name of Kanka) from India, an expert in hisab (computation) bringing with him a work called Sindhind (i.e. Siddhanta) concerning the motions of the planets. [RG, P 12]
            A translation of this work, thought to be Brahmagupta's BSS, was subsequently carried out by al-Fazari (and an Indian scholar) and had a far-reaching influence on subsequent Arabic works. The famous Arabic scholar al-Khwarizmi (credited with 'inventing' algebra) is known to have made use of the translation, called Zij al-Sindhind. Al-Khwarizmi (c. 780-850 AD) is known to have written two subsequent works, one based on Indian astronomy (Zij) and the other on arithmetic (possibly Kitab al-Adad al-Hindi). Later Latin translations of this second work (Algorithmi De Numero Indorum), composed in Spain around the 11th century, are thought to have played a crucial role in introducing the Indian place-value system numerals and the corresponding computational methods into (wider) Europe. Both Indian astronomy and arithmetic had a huge impact in Spain.
            This discussion helps to highlight the influence that Indian mathematics had on Arabic mathematics, and ultimately, through Latin translations, on European mathematics
            ..

        From Chapter 8 V. Bhaskaracharya II: Bhaskara is thought to be the first to show (ed. note: in c. 1150 AD, 500 years before Newton) that:

                δ sin(x) = cos(x) δx

        See also (this from 13 and 14th centuries AD): 9 IV. Possible transmission of Keralese mathematics to Europe

        Did you know that Indians invented the # 0 and the decimal/binary systems: a primer on Indian mathematics.

        by iceweasel on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 11:30:34 AM PST

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        •  I thought it was the Mayans who invented the zero (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          iceweasel

          or were they in addition to the Indians?

          (I loved that bit in the movie Stand And Deliver where calculus teacher Jaime Escalante tells his poor barrio students "math is in your blood!")

          It's the end. But the carrot juice has been fantastic! And so was I. - Russell T. Davies, producer of "Doctor Who"

          by The YENTA Of The Opera on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 01:46:25 PM PST

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          •  Right. Mayans also had a number zero (0+ / 0-)
            but their resulting system was not a proper place-value number system:
            Mayan mathematics

            Surprising and advanced features of the Mayan number system are the zero, denoted by a shell for reasons we cannot explain, and the positional nature of the system. However, the system was not a truly positional system as we shall now explain.

            In a true base twenty system the first number would denote the number of units up to 19, the next would denote the number of 20's up to 19, the next the number of 400's up to 19, etc. However although the Maya number system starts this way with the units up to 19 and the 20's up to 19, it changes in the third place and this denotes the number of 360's up to 19 instead of the number of 400's. After this the system reverts to multiples of 20 so the fourth place is the number of 18 × 202, the next the number of 18 × 203 and so on.

            Also, it was India's system that spread, partly by being complete, likely partly due to India's central geographical location amid populated regions of the world, and perhaps also because of the various arithmetic recipes that came with the Indians' numbers (you need nice algorithms to crunch the numbers, right) which were what Al-Khwarzmi and Al-Kindi recorded in their respective books on the Indian number system.

            But definitely, Mayans should also be duly credited strongly for their invention. I'll make it a point to mention them in my future posts on the number zero even though it takes a bit of explanation!

            That site, History Topics Index, called the "MacTutor"  (at the School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St Andrews, Scotland) is an excellent place for exploration for adults as well as kids (pref. together, making for quality family math fun time :)), I have to say!

            Did you know that Indians invented the # 0 and the decimal/binary systems: a primer on Indian mathematics.

            by iceweasel on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 02:16:33 PM PST

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