Q&A #3962


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From: Suzanne A. (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: May 21, 2000 at 11:53:50
Subject: Re: Algebra

I'll try to give you an idea. :) Let's start with the word itself: ______________ algebra 'ilm algebra wa'lmugabalah (Arabic) The science of redintegration and equation = The reunion of broken parts. redintegration = The process of making whole again OR restoring to a perfect state. ______________ I like to point this out to my students so that they understand the idea of factoring. You can see a Web page following this idea here: http://mathforum.org/alejandre/algfac.html If you would like to read further about the history of algebra, one of the interesting biographies is that of Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi which can be found here: http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/history/Mathematicians/Al-Khwarizmi.html on the The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive. This is a quote from that page: "The algebra treatise _Hisab al-jabr w'al-muqabala_ was the most famous and important of all of al-Khwarizmi's works. It is the title of this text that gives us the word "algebra" and, in a sense that we shall investigate more fully below, it is the first book to be written on algebra." There is a lot of information on that history site that will help you gain an understanding of the concepts of algebra. Now, if by chance, I misinterpreted your question and you are more interested in understanding various problems of algebra, then I would point you to the Math Forum's Ask Dr. Math archives which are here: http://mathforum.org/dr.math/tocs/algebra.middle.html http://mathforum.org/dr.math/tocs/algebra.high.html I hope that helps. -Suzanne A., for the Teacher2Teacher service

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