◀ ▲ ▶History / Early-middle-ages / Person: Al-Uqlidisi, Abu&amp;#x27;l Hasan Ahmad ibn Ibrahim
Person: Al-Uqlidisi, Abu&amp;#x27;l Hasan Ahmad ibn Ibrahim
Al-Uqlidisi was an Islamic mathematician who wrote two works on arithmetic. He may have anticipated the invention of decimals.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- The manuscript gives al-Uqlidisi's full name on the front page as well as the information that he composed the text in Damascus in 952-53.
- In the introduction al-Uqlidisi writes that he travelled widely and learnt from all the mathematicians he met on his travels.
- Other than being able to deduce a little of al-Uqlidisi's character from his writing, we have no other information on his life.
- The Kitab al-fusul fi al-hisab al-Hindi of al-Uqlidisi is the earliest surviving book that presents the Hindu system.
- There is plenty of evidence here that al-Uqlidisi must have been a teacher, for only a teacher would know understand the type of problem that a beginning student would encounter.
- The fourth part has considerable interest for it claims that up to this work by al-Uqlidisi the Indian methods had been used with a dust board.
- However, al-Uqlidisi showed how to modify the methods for pen and paper use.
- Al-Uqlidisi's work is historically important as it is the earliest known text offering a direct treatment of decimal fractions.
- Al-Uqlidisi uses decimal fractions as such, appreciates the importance of a decimal sign, and suggests a good one.
- 1436/7) who treated decimal fractions in his "Miftah al-Hisab", but al-Uqlidisi, who lived five centuries earlier, is the first Muslim mathematician so far known to write about decimal fractions.
- Following Saidan's paper, some historians went even further in attributing to al-Uqlidisi the complete credit for giving the first complete description and applications of decimal fractions.
- The argument depends on how one interprets the following passage in al-Uqlidisi's treatise.
- unlike al-Samawal, al-Uqlidisi never formulates the idea of completing the sequence of powers of ten by that of their inverse after having defined the zero power.
- There is no disagreement on the fact that al-Uqlidisi made a major step forward.
Born about 920, possibly Damascus, Syria. Died about 980, possibly Damascus, Syria.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Ancient Arab, Origin Syria, Special Numbers And Numerals
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive