Earth Observatory, January 8, 2018
<<On August 20, 2017, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of present-day Khwãrezm, which sits along the borders of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Though the region is arid, the Amu Darya provides enough water to irrigate large swaths of the desert—even as it has caused the Aral Sea to shrink.
One of Khwãrezm’s most famous residents was Muhammad ibn Mūsa al-Khwarizmī, an influential 9th century scholar, astronomer, geographer, and mathematician known especially for his contributions to the study of algebra. Indeed, the latinization of his name, which meant ‘the native of Khwãrezm’ in Persian, gave English the word algorithm. He wrote a book in Arabic about Hindu-Arabic numerals; the Latin translation of the book title was Algoritmi de numero Indorum (in English Al-Khwarizmi on the Hindu Art of Reckoning).>>
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