Google celebrated the 971st birthday of renowned Persian mathematician, astronomer and poet Omar Khayyam with a doodle Saturday.
As a mathematician, Khayyam is known for his work on the classification and solution of cubic equations, where he provided geometric solutions by the intersection of conics. He was the first to give a general method for solving cubic equations. Khayyam also contributed to the understanding of the parallel axiom.
As an astronomer, he designed the Jalali calendar, a solar calendar with a very precise 33-year intercalation cycle. This later became the base of several other calendars.
Born on May 18, 1048, in Iran’s Nishapur, Khayyam was also famous for his poetry and verses. He wrote more than a thousand ‘Rubaiyat’ or verses. ‘Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám’, a section of work translated by Edward Fitzgerald, became popular in the West centuries after his death. He was born into a family of tent-makers (Khayyam). His full name, as it appears in the Arabic sources, was Abu’l Fath Omar ibn Ibrāhīm al-Khayyām.
One of the most renowned scholars of his time, Khayyan worked as an advisor and court astrologer to Malik Shah I in Khorasan province.
Khayyam also made major contributions to algebra, including penning down ‘Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra’. He discovered a triangular array of binomial theorem the nth root of natural numbers — his works on this have been lost. He also wrote ‘Problems of Arithmetic’, a book on music and algebra.
He died on December 4, 1131, and was buried in the Khayyam Garden.