In the early 800s in Baghdad, there was an illustrious center of knowledge called – unimaginatively – the House of Wisdom. Baghdad was already a trade center, and the money from that helped pay some of the brightest minds in the Arabic world to sit around and be brilliant. al-Khwarizmi was one such. While there, he produced his most famous work The Book of Restoring and Balancing. In it, he explains how to solve complex mathematical equations by a method he called al-jabr, Arabic for “reunion of broken parts.” When translated into Latin: algebra. al-Khwarizmi’s name, when his book was translated to Latin three centuries later, was rendered as Algorismus. Seem familiar? al-Khwarizmi’s name in its original form also means “algebra” in Arabic, which seems fair since he pretty much invented it.