Mathematics & Science Timelines

  • Pythagoras, circa 500 BCE, known as the first great mathematician: his theorem for the  length of a triangles longest side based on the sum of the squares on a triangle is widely known today. The Babylonians  1000 years earlier and  the Indians and Chinese about the same time as Pythagoras had solved the same problem.
  • The Hindu-Arabic numbering system, that we use today, only started to replace Roman numerals in  Europe from around 1200 when the advantages for performing mathematics were popularised by Leonardo of Pisa (Fibonacci) after studying with Arabic mathematicians.
  • The first known use of the decimal point to mark a decimal fraction is by the Muslim Arab  al-Uqlidisi in the 10th C.
  • Persian, and scholar in the House of Wisdom in Baghdad, Al-Khwarizm’s  9th C work on algebra was used until the sixteenth century as the principal mathematical text-book of European universities. He is known as the father of Algebra. He used Greek geometry and Hindu arithmetic knowledge.
  • Basra-born Arab, Ibn al-Haytham’s work on optics in the 11th century informed many later European scientists such as Kepler, Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo and wasn’t  improved upon until Isaac Newton  in the 17th C.
  • Francis Bacon 1561-1626,  Descartes 1596-1650 and Ibn al-Haytham  (965-1040) all have their advocates to be named father of the Scientific Method.
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