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.
Apart from India, the doodle’s visibility extended to Russia, the Middle East, North African nations, the US and Chile.
Khayyam was born on May 18, 1048 into a family of tent-makers (Khayyam). He is popular for several mathematical and scientific discoveries. A famed mathematical genius, Khayyam was born in Nishapur, Nishapur, north-eastern Iran and spent most of his life near the court of the Karakhanid and Seljuq rulers which witnessed the period of the First Crusade.
Khayyam is popularly known for being the first to provide a solution for cubic equations while also using conic intersection to solve their geometrical solutions. He also wrote ‘Problems of Arithmetic’, a book on music and algebra, discovered Pascal’s triangle, and penned down ‘Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra’.
The Jalali calendar which later became the base for several other calendars was essentially a solar calendar with a precise 33-year intercalation cycle by Khayyam who also considered himself an astronomer.
Besides mathematics and philosophy, Khayyam also contributed to Literature and philosophy. His poem ‘Rubáiyát’ is one of the most famous. He has written over thousand verses in poetry. Khayyam worked as an advisor and court astrologer to Malik Shah I in Khorasan province.
Khayyam passed away on December 04, 1131 at the age of 83. He was buried in the Khayyam Garden.