Omar Khayyam is a Persian mathematician,

poet, and astronomer. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica he was born on May 18,1048

in Nishapur, modern day Iran. As he grew up he was educated in science and

mathematics. He was educated by Sheikh Mohammad Mansuri. When he was

twenty-six, he served as a counselor for the Sultan Malik Shaw. When the Sultan

was murdered Khayyam was no longer needed as counselor and he went on a

pilgrimage to Mecca (Famous Mathematicians).

While serving in

the Sultan’s court, his early education helped him create a new calendar from

his studies in astronomy. Instead of the traditional Gregorian calendar of the

time, he came up with the Jalali calendar which made 8 of every 33 years a leap

year. Malik-Sh?h put this calendar into use in 1075. (Encyclopædia

Britannica).

He

is also known for being the first mathematician to finding any type of cubic

having a positive root. He did this by using a pair intersecting conic sections

and drawing parabolas and semicircles. Using the equations for those to help

him come up with his results. It is thought Fibonacci may have seen Khayyam’s

work during his travels and using it in his estimate of a cubic root (Burton).

Khayyam

wrote a famous work, ‘Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra’, which

helped explain the basic principles of algebra. The ideas in this writing

eventually made it over to Europe. This helped Pascal when he worked on his

famous triangular array, known today as Pascals Triangle (Famous Mathematicians).

Not

only did he make history as a mathematician and astronomer, he was also a poet.

He wrote in the quatrain style. His poems were little known until they were

translated by Edward Fitzgerald in 1859 (Famous Mathematicians). According to Encyclopædia

Britannica some scholars believe that Khayyam did not really write the poetry

he is acclaimed to have written.

Even

if it is not believed that Omar Khayyam was a poet, he was a great mathematician

and astronomer, making several contributions to the mathematical world.

Bibliography

Burton, David M. The

History of Mathematics: An Introduction. Wm. C. Brown Publishers, 1988.

” Omar Khayyam .” 2012. Famous-Mathematicians.com

28 January, http://www.famous-mathematicians.com/omar-khayyam/

Omar Khayyam: Persian

Poet and Astronomer. The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, www.britannica.com/biography/Omar-Khayyam-Persian-poet-and-astronomer.

Accessed 27 February 2018