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Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Ashraf al-Ḥusaynī al-Samarqandī (c. 1250 – c. 1310) was a 13th century astronomer and mathematician from Samarkand.

Nothing is known of al-Samarqandi's life except that he composed his most important works around 1276. He wrote works on theology, logic, philosophy, mathematics and astronomy which have proved important in their own right and also in giving information about the works of other scientists of his period.

Al-Samarqandi wrote a work Risala fi adab al-bahth which discussed the method of intellectual investigation of reasoning using dialectic. Such methods of enquiry were much used by the ancient Greeks. He also wrote Synopsis of astronomy and produced a star catalogue for the year 1276-77.

In mathematics al-Samarqandi is famous for a short work of only 20 pages which discusses 35 of Euclid's propositions. Although a short work, al-Samarqandi consulted widely the works of other Muslim mathematicians before writing it. For example he refers to writings by Ibn al-Haytham, Omar Khayyam, al-Jawhari, Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, and Athīr al-Dīn al-Abharī.

Further reading

O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Shams al-Din ibn Ashraf Al-Samarqandi", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.
"Samarqandī, Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad Ibn Ashraf al- Ḥusaynī al-". Dictionary of Scientific Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 1970–80. ISBN 0684101149.
Fazlıoğlu, İhsan (2007). "Samarqandī: Shams al‐Dīn Muḥammad ibn Ashraf al‐Ḥusaynī al‐Samarqandī". In Thomas Hockey et al. The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. New York: Springer. p.1008. ISBN 9780387310220. (PDF version)


Mathematics Encyclopedia

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