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The word algorithm comes from al-Khwārizmī. From Wikipedia, I can read that he did a great work on algebra, but I could not find any algorithm attributed to him. Has he actually made any algorithm?

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  • $\begingroup$ "algorithm" = "a method for solving a certain type of problem" $\endgroup$ Feb 12 '18 at 11:41
  • $\begingroup$ Alexander Graham Bell did great work on phones, but there is probably no operating system that can be attributed to him. $\endgroup$ Feb 12 '18 at 12:22
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Perhaps his most sophisticated contribution was solving quadratic equations. However, he didn't write the roots of an arbitrary quadratic as functions of its coefficients in the way we do today, because that would require conceding negative numbers exist and can be the arguments of functions. in other words, he classified several types of quadratic, each solved a different way (if roots were conceded). If that sounds odd, remember that centuries later Europe's doubts about negative numbers motivated calling the square roots of negative numbers imaginary, and the different types of quadratic distinguished in the above link were still considered separately. (The eventual motive for taking imaginary/negative numbers seriously was this).

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  • $\begingroup$ Ok, I had not looked at this method as an algorithm, but it sure is. Thanks. $\endgroup$ Feb 12 '18 at 13:12
  • $\begingroup$ @GuillaumeGuigue An even more "well, I guess that counts" example is his work on rearranging equations to change the subject. $\endgroup$
    – J.G.
    Feb 12 '18 at 15:50

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