A Study on some of the Algebraic Contributions of Thomas Harriot and William Outghred

Joyce Kurian


       In this paper we study, how Thomas Harriot, one of the 17th century Mathematicians, dealt with the theory of equations.  He explained the formation of equations having given roots, the relationship between the roots and coefficients of an equation, numerical solution of equations etc.  The first important treatment of the solution of quadratic and other equations by factoring is found in Harriot’s work, ‘Artis Analyticae Praxis’.  His algebraic notations were simpler and consequently more modern.  Here we can see that how the notations have been improved from the earlier days.  The English Mathematics flourished by the influence of the English Clergyman, William Oughtred.  Here we discuss his emphasis on the use of Mathematical symbols.  In this paper we can see, how his notation for powers become a step back towards the 16th century French Mathematician Francois Viete.


Notation, Polynomials, Negative Root, Quadratic Equations, Symbols, Viete, Algebra

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