Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi (ca. 780--850)

Last update: Tue Jun 10 17:41:11 2003

Picture of al-Khwarizmi The stamp reads: Post USSR 1983, 1200 Years, Mukhammad al-Korezmi.

al-Khwarizmi was a Persian scholar and mathematician. His book Hisab Al-Jabr wal Mugabalah (Book of Calculations, Restoration and Reduction) gave rise to our modern term algebra, and his name, to the term algorithm. They, and the Hindu numerals, were introduced to Europe in 1202 by Fibonacci in his book Liber Abaci.

Of course, we have no good record of what either of these men looked like, but in 1983, the USSR issued a lovely stamp in honor of the (approximately) 1200th birthday of al-Khwarizmi. Donald Knuth has kindly made available three pictures of the stamp. One of them is shown here.