Mathematician:Mathematicians/Sorted By Nation/Persia

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For more comprehensive information on the lives and works of mathematicians through the ages, see the MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, created by John J. O'Connor and Edmund F. Robertson.

The army of those who have made at least one definite contribution to mathematics as we know it soon becomes a mob as we look back over history; 6,000 or 8,000 names press forward for some word from us to preserve them from oblivion, and once the bolder leaders have been recognised it becomes largely a matter of arbitrary, illogical legislation to judge who of the clamouring multitude shall be permitted to survive and who be condemned to be forgotten.[1]


Iamblichus Chalcidensis (c. 245 – c. 325)

Usually known as Iamblichus. His name in Ancient Greek is Ἰάμβλιχος, probably from Syriac or Aramaic ya-mlku, "He is king".

Assyrian philosopher of the neo-Platonist school.

His main involvement in mathematics concerns the fact that he may have known the $5$th perfect number, but there is no hard evidence of this fact.
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Thabit ibn Qurra (836 – 901)

Sabian mathematician, physician, astronomer, and translator who lived in Baghdad in the second half of the ninth century during the time of Abbasid Caliphate.

Made important discoveries in algebra, geometry, and astronomy.

One of the first reformers of the Ptolemaic system in Astronomy.

A founder of the discipline of statics.
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Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi (c. 780 – c. 850)

Full name: محمد بن موسى ابو جعفر الخوارزمي‎ -- Muḥammad bin Mūsā Abū Ǧaʿfar al-Ḫawārazmī.

Mathematician who lived and worked in Baghdad.

Famous for his book The Algebra, which contained the first systematic description of the solution to linear and quadratic equations.

Sometimes referred to as "the father of algebra", but some claim the title should belong to Diophantus.
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Al-Kindi (c. 801 – c. 873)

Full name: Abu Yūsuf Yaʻqūb ibn ʼIsḥāq aṣ-Ṣabbāḥ al-Kindī' (Arabic: أبو يوسف يعقوب بن إسحاق الصبّاح الكندي‎, Latin: Alkindus).

Persian mathematician, philosopher and prolific writer famous for providing a synthesis of the Greek and Hellenistic tradition into the Muslim world.

Played an important role in introducing the Arabic numeral system to the West.
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Abu Bakr al-Karaji (c. 953 – c. 1029)

Full name: Abū Bakr ibn Muḥammad ibn al Ḥusayn al-Karajī (or al-Karkhī).

Persian mathematician best known for the Binomial Theorem and what is now known as Pascal's Rule for their combination.

Also one of the first to use the Principle of Mathematical Induction.
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Abu Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham (965 – c. 1039)

Full name:

  • Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥasan ibn al-Ḥasan ibn al-Haytham
  • In Arabic: ابو علي، حسن بن حسن بن الهيثم
  • In Persian: ابن هیثم

Best known as Alhacen or (deprecated) Alhazen.

Persian philosopher, scientist and all-round genius who made significant contributions to number theory and geometry.

His work influenced the work of René Descartes and the calculus of Isaac Newton.
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Omar Khayyam (1048 – 1131)

Full name: Ghiyath al-Din Abu'l-Fath Umar ibn Ibrahim Al-Nishapuri al-Khayyami (Persian: غیاث الدین ابو الفتح عمر بن ابراهیم خیام نیشاپوری) .

Persian mathematician better known nowadays for his poetry.

Completely solved the problem of the solution of cubic equations using conics.

Noted for being one of the first to discuss in print what is now known as Pascal's Triangle.
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Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (1201 – 1274)

In Persian: نصیر الدین طوسی, known in the west as Tusi.

Full name: محمد بن محمد بن الحسن طوسی - Khawaja Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Hasan Tūsī.

Multi-discipline scientist and prolific writer who pre-empted several later Western scientists:

  • Darwin with his ideas on evolution
  • Copernicus on his heliocentric view of the solar system
  • Galileo with his insight into the nature of the Milky Way.

The first to separate the science of trigonometry, particularly spherical trigonometry, from that of astronomy.
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Jamshīd al-Kāshī (c. 1380 – 1429)

In Persian: محمد بن محمد بن الحسن طوسی -- Ghiyās-ud-dīn Jamshīd Kāshānī.

Prominent mathematician of the newly-founded Samarkand Institute.

Best known for calculating the value of pi ($\pi$) to $16$ decimal places.
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Maryam Mirzakhani (1977 – 2017)

Iranian mathematician notable for being the first female recipient of the Fields Medal.

Her research topics included Teichmüller theory, hyperbolic geometry, ergodic theory, and symplectic geometry.
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  1. Eric Temple Bell: Men of Mathematics, 1937, Victor Gollancz, London.