Algebra: Introduction


To have a better understanding of the historical background of Algebra and the fundamental nomenclature used in Algebra.
In groups of 4s please complete the 4-stages of the Introduction: Algebra below. Appoint a scribe to post your findings on-line. Please quote and check the reliability of your sources. Remember to indicate your group members.
Stage 1:
World of
Mathematics on Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi
Who is
Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi ?Identify his contributions in Mathematics and Sciences.

Stage 2:
Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi was the author of a book entitled Al-jabr w'al muqabala (written in 830 AD) that gave the name al-jabr to the branch of mathematics that is now known by its modern spelling as algebra.

What is Algebra?
[reference: clink on the formula

Construct a simple mind map to illustrate this. You may refer to sample for inspiration.

source: Mind Map Art

Stage 3:Use the website or mathematics dictionary and find the definition of the following. Use

diagrams or examples to illustrate your explanation. Click here for reference or refer to worksheet 1.

  1. variable
  2. constant
  3. coefficient
  4. expression
  5. equation
Stage 4:
Watch the following video on Introduction to Algebra and explain the differences between like terms and unlike terms.


  1. Unlike terms:
    Done by: Idris, Lionel, Priyanka
    Unlike terms are terms which are not like terms
    e.g. 2x and 3y are unlike terms but 2x and 3x are like terms

  2. Like terms are actually terms that have the same variables and raised to the same powers but have different coefficients.For example : 2ƒ+(-9ƒ)+(-99)+10 equals to 2ƒ+(-9ƒ) is one of the like terms.((-99)+10) is also another like term.

  3. Like terms are terms that contain the same variables raised to the same power. Only the numerical coefficients are different. In an expression, only like terms can be combined. We combine like terms to shorten and simplify algebraic expressions, so we can work with them more easily. To combine like terms, we add the coefficients and keep the variables the same. We can't combine unlike terms because that's like trying to add apples and oranges!

    Be careful when combining!
    Terms like x2yz and xy2z look a lot alike, but they aren't and cannot be combined. Write the terms carefully when working out problems.

    Don't overlook terms that are alike!
    Terms obey the associative property of multiplication - that is, xy and yx are like terms, as are xy2 and y2x.

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