Diophantus’ Arithmatica

Diophantus, known as the Father of Algebra, lived in Alexandria, Egypt during the 3rd century A.D.  Little else is known about his personal life.  He was the author of the first Greek text on the essential branch of mathematics we know as algebra.

His book, Arithmatica, included thirteen books with numerical answers to algebraic questions.  Using only positive rational numbers because zeros, negative numbers and irrational numbers were not available to him at the time –

Diophantus algebraically solved linear and quadratic equations, in addition to simultaneous linear and quadratic equations.  With awareness of essential theorems in the number theory, he also found algebraic solutions to questions such as finding the value of y so that some polynomial equations in y are either squares of numbers or their cubes.

Arithmatica solved a total of one hundred and thirty mathematical problems for its readers.  Apart from this important text on algebra, Diophantus has been credited with introducing techniques for solving both determinate as well as indeterminate equations.  He also developed the method of using symbols for words in algebra.  Still, Arithmatica continues to be remembered as one of the most significant works of his life, for the simple reason that the sciences of modern times could not have progressed without the tool of algebra.

     As a matter of fact, algebra is an integral part of modern existence.  Both industry and our daily lives depend on this tool.  As examples, algebraic formulas for calculating loan installments; bank interest; distance, speed, and time; and volume, area and perimeter are as indispensable as the variables, relations and functions used in the analysis of activities that involve costs.

So, whether we are dealing with the business of construction, managing expenses as consumers, or working on new innovations in chemistry labs, we know it is virtually impossible to do away with algebra – thanks to Diophantus who first introduced the importance of this mathematical tool to the world.