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Q:

Where did algebra come from?

A:

Algebra has been developed over thousands of years in several different countries. The earliest methods for solving mathematical problems with one or more unknown quantities come from ancient Egypt. The word "algebra" itself is derived from the title of Baghdad mathematician Al-Kwarizmi's 9th century book, "Hidab al-jabr wal-muqubala."

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The ancient Babylonians and Greeks also had methods for solving equations with unknown quantities. The 2nd century Greek Diophantus continued the Greek tradition with his work "Arithmetica;" however, he had no generalized method for solving equations. After the fall of Rome, progress in the development of algebra continued in India, Egypt and Iraq (then known as Persia).

Hindu mathematicians were the first to discover that quadratic equations have two roots. Islamic math was influential in the development of Western European mathematical techniques. Knowledge of algebra trickled into Europe starting in the 12th century with a translation of Al-Kwarimi's work, and received fuller development starting in the 1500s. Abstract or modern algebra is a 19th-century British development of the field.

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In Algebra 2, a function is a relation where every input has only one output. A relation is defined as a combination of inputs and outputs

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One of the most common formulas used in introductory algebra courses is the quadratic formula, which is (-b +/- sqrt([b^2] - 4ac))/2a. It is used to solve quadratic equations that are written in the form of ax2 + bx + c = 0.

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In addition to finding it useful in a wide variety of everyday applications, Americans need algebra, because those who learn it are better able to compete in the international marketplace. Students from countries in Europe, Asia and elsewhere are generally well-versed in the mathematical form.