Christoph Rudolff

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Christoff Rudolff (born 1499 in Jawor, Silesia, died 1545 in Vienna) was the author of the first German textbook on algebra.

From 1517 to 1521, Rudolff was a student of Henricus Grammateus (Schreyber from Erfurt) at the University of Vienna and was the author of a book computing, under the title: Behend und hübsch Rechnung durch die kunstreichen regeln Algebre.

He introduced the radical symbol (√) for the square root. It is believed that this was because it resembled a lowercase "r" (for "radix"),[1][2] though there is no direct evidence.[3] Cajori only says that a "dot is the embryo of our present symbol for the square root"[4] though it is "possible, perhaps probable" that Rudolff's later symbols are not dots but 'r's.[5]

Furthermore, he used the meaningful definition that x0 = 1.

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  1. ^ a b Walter William Rouse Ball (1960), A short account of the history of mathematics (4 ed.), Courier Dover Publications, p. 215, ISBN 978-0-486-20630-1 
  2. ^ a b Howard Whitley Eves (1983), Great moments in mathematics (before 1650: Volume 1), MAA, p. 131, ISBN 978-0-88385-310-8 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ a b Florian Cajori (1919), A history of mathematics (2 ed.), The Macmillan Company, p. 140 
  5. ^ a b Florian Cajori (1993), A history of mathematical notations, Volumes 1-2 (reprint ed.), Courier Dover Publications, p. 369, ISBN 978-0-486-67766-8 


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