If you visit Google’s homepage today, you will find the search giant paying homage to one of history’s most famous mathematician, poet, philosopher, and astronomer. Today, a Google Doodle has been dedicated to Omar Khayyam on what would have been his 971st birth anniversary. The doodle shows Khayyam sitting under a tree, and working on his Jalali calendar, a solar calendar he devised.
Abu’l Fath Omar ibn Ibrāhīm al-Khayyām or Omar Khayyam was born on May 18, 1048 in northeastern Iran’s Nishapur. He was born into a family of tent-makers (Khayyam). He is known for his several mathematical and scientific discoveries. These include the first ever solution for cubic equations. His major contributions towards Algebra included penning ‘Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra’, as well as discovering Pascal’s triangle. He also wrote ‘Problems of Arithmetic’, a book on music and algebra.
As an astronomer, Khayyam designed what he called the Jalali calendar. This was essentially a solar calendar with a precise 33-year intercalation cycle. This later became the base for several other calendars.
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Besides mathematics and astronomy, Khayyam was also known as a poet and philosopher. As a poet, he wrote over 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.
As a renowned scholar of his time, Khayyam worked as an advisor and court astrologer to Malik Shah I in Khorasan province. He passed away on December 04, 1131, and is buried in the Khayyam Garden.