Algebra is a branch of mathematics concerning the study of structure, relation, and quantity. Elementary algebra is the branch that deals with solving for the operands of arithmetic equations. Modern or abstract algebra has its origins as an abstraction of elementary algebra. Some historians believe that the earliest mathematical research was done by the priest classes of ancient civilizations, such as the Babylonians, to go along with religious rituals. The origins of algebra can thus be traced back to ancient Babylonian mathematicians roughly four thousand years ago. The word “algebra” is derived from the Arabic word Al-Jabr, and this comes from the treatise written in 820 by the medieval Persian mathematician,Muhammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī, entitled, in Arabic, كتاب الجبر والمقابلة or Kitāb al-muḫtaṣar fī ḥisāb al-ğabr wa-l-muqābala, which can be translated asThe Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing. The treatise provided for the systematic solution of linear and quadratic equations. Although the exact meaning of the word al-jabr is still unknown, most historians agree that the word meant something like “restoration”, “completion”,”reunite r of broken bones” or “bone setter.” The term is used by al-Khwarizmi to describe the operations that he introduced, “reduction” and “balancing”, referring to the transposition of subtracted terms to the other side of an equation, that is, the cancellation of like terms on opposite sides of the equation.
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