(May 18, 1048 – December 4, 1131)
Influenced by both Avicenna and Alhazen Ibn Al-Haytham, Omar Al-Khayyam attained prominence early in life. He produced excellent works on philosophy, literature, astronomy, geometry and algebra; and is remembered today as one of the most outstanding scholars of the Middle Ages. His solutions to the problems of cubic (and exponential) equations were superb; as depicted in his highly influential book: The Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra. In fact, his discerning novelties there bolstered a long-held belief that he was the first researcher who conceived a general theory of cubic equations, as well as the first who solved it geometrically: with regards to positive roots. Likewise, his redresses in another text of his titled: On the Difficulties of Euclid’s Definitions improved upon those of Al-Haytham. And they would facilitate the development of Non-Euclidean Geometry several centuries later. Regarding astronomy, Omar Al-Khayyam made giant strides while working in the observatory which Sultan Malik Shah (I) sponsored. It was there that his team achieved fame for accurately measuring a year as having 365.2424 days. This was commendable: given the period. Needless to iterate that contemporary Persian calendar is based on his calculations. Also, his profound analyses of Archimedes’ works, alongside masterful simplifications of the Binomial Theorem, attest to his intelligence. Although Al-Khayyam’s poems are now more popular than his scientific works, the world still appreciates his contributions to science. That explains why the 70-kilometer-wide Omar Khayyam lunar crater, the 3095 OmarKhayyam planetoid, and several other monuments are dedicated to his memory.