# Asked by you “How did the Arabs influence mathematics in European universities?”

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The Arabs influenced mathematics in European universities by introducing new mathematical concepts and ideas, including algebra, Arabic numerals, and the decimal system.

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The Arabs had a significant impact on the development of mathematics in European universities during the Middle Ages. They introduced new mathematical concepts and ideas that laid the foundation for modern mathematics. According to an article in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “Arabic mathematicians were primarily responsible for widespread knowledge of Indian numerals, which European mathematicians first began to use in the 12th century.”

One of the most significant contributions of the Arabs to mathematics was the introduction of algebra, which they based on the work of earlier Indian and Greek mathematicians. The word “algebra” itself is derived from the Arabic word “al-jabr,” which means “reunion of broken parts.” The Arabs also developed the Arabic numerals that we use today, which are based on the Hindu-Arabic numeral system.

The decimal system was another concept that the Arabs introduced to the Europeans. They also developed trigonometry and spherical geometry, which were essential to early astronomy. One of the most famous Arab mathematicians was Al-Khwarizmi, who wrote a book called Al-jabr wa’l-muqabalah, which is considered to be the first book on algebra.

A table showing the influence of Arabs on mathematics in European universities:

Concept/Idea Influence
Algebra Founded algebra and originated algebraic symbols
Arabic numerals Introduced Hindu-Arabic numeral system
Decimal system Developed decimal system
Trigonometry Developed trigonometry
Spherical geometry Developed spherical geometry
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In conclusion, the Arabs had a significant impact on the development of mathematics in European universities during the Middle Ages. They introduced new concepts and ideas that served as the foundation for modern mathematics. As the mathematician and philosopher Bertrand Russell once said, “The Greeks invented geometry; Arabs invented algebra.”

The city of Fes in Morocco, once the center of the Islamic world, was a world center of intellectual pursuit and creativity. Karaouine University, the oldest continuously operating university in the world, attracted scholars from both east and west 1,200 years ago. Islamic mathematicians developed algebra and trigonometry, brought the zero into modern civilization, and made extensive and highly accurate maps of the heavens while creating and refining astrolabes, sextants, water clocks, and timepieces. Two Muslim libraries held over 100,000 volumes each, while Europe’s largest library held only 5,000 books at that time.

## Online, I discovered more solutions

When I was a grad student, a very experienced math professor said, during a seminar:

“A friend of mine [also a mathematician] once dreamed he was -1 inside a square root.”

I got the impression that mathematicians’ dreams are quite complex.

## I am confident you will be intrigued

How did Arabs contribute to mathematics?
As a response to this: So in conclusion the Arab people had a huge and lasting influence on the world of mathematics because they transported key theories of the trigonometry of the sine, the base 10 place value system, approximation of pie by the circumscription of polygons, as well as the concept of zero to Europe and also because of Al-
Who introduced Arabic mathematics throughout Europe?
Response to this: Fibonacci
Leonardo of Pisa, better known today as Fibonacci, is largely responsible for the adoption of the Hindu–Arabic numeral system in Europe, which revolutionized not only mathematics but commerce and trade as well.
In what areas did Arabs make great advancements in math?
Answer: Islamic scientists in the 10th century were involved in three major mathematical projects: the completion of arithmetic algorithms, the development of algebra, and the extension of geometry.
What are three Arab contributions to mathematics and science?
Even more than mechanics and engineering, breakthroughs in mathematics were one of the main Arab contributions to Western civilization. The Arabs developed the concept of irrational numbers, founded analytical geometry and established algebra and trigonometry as exact sciences.
What did Arabic mathematicians do?
In reply to that: Although the Arabic mathematicians are most famed for their work on algebra, number theory and number systems, they also made considerable contributions to geometry, trigonometry and mathematical astronomy.
Why was Arabic important in the Middle Ages?
Answer to this: Important progress was made, such as full development of the decimal place-value system to include decimal fractions, the first systematised study of algebra, and advances in geometry and trigonometry. Arabic works played an important role in the transmission of mathematics to Europe during the 10th—12th centuries.
Why did European students go to Muslim universities?
The reply will be: From the 11th to the 14th centuries, numerous European students attended Muslim centers of higher learning (which the author calls "universities") to study medicine, philosophy, mathematics, cosmography and other subjects.
When did symbols first appear in Arabic mathematics?
Answer will be: Let us remark that symbols did not appear in Arabic mathematics until much later. Ibn al-Banna and al-Qalasadi used symbols in the 15th century and, although we do not know exactly when their use began, we know that symbols were used at least a century before this.
What did Arabic mathematicians do?
Response to this: Although the Arabic mathematicians are most famed for their work on algebra, number theory and number systems, they also made considerable contributions to geometry, trigonometry and mathematical astronomy.
How did mathematics develop in medieval Europe?
The answer is: The Development of Mathematics in Medieval Europe complements the previous collection of articles by Menso Folkerts, Essays on Early Medieval Mathematics, and deals with the development of mathematics in Europe from the 12th century to about 1500. In the 12th century European learning was greatly transformed by translations from Arabic into Latin.
Why was Arabic important in the Middle Ages?
Response: Important progress was made, such as full development of the decimal place-value system to include decimal fractions, the first systematised study of algebra, and advances in geometry and trigonometry. Arabic works played an important role in the transmission of mathematics to Europe during the 10th—12th centuries.
Why did European students go to Muslim universities?
Response: From the 11th to the 14th centuries, numerous European students attended Muslim centers of higher learning (which the author calls "universities") to study medicine, philosophy, mathematics, cosmography and other subjects.

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