Algebra is the study of mathematical symbols and the rules which manipulate these symbols. The discipline belongs to the mathematics and relates to the number theory, geometry and analysis.
Algebra includes both the solving process of elementary equations and the study of abstract elements such as groups, rings and fields. The most basic part of this discipline is known as elementary algebra; instead, the section that focuses on abstract elements is known as abstract algebra or modern algebra.
Elementary algebra is necessary to study mathematics, science and engineering, as well as medicine and economics. On the contrary, modern algebra is a field predominantly analysed by professional mathematicians.
The roots of this discipline date back to the ancient Babylonians who developed an arithmetical system do calculations in an algorithmic way. However, also the Egyptians and Euclid played an important role in the development of this discipline.
Despite its ancient roots, algebra as a branch of mathematics emerged at the end of the 16th century in Europe with the work of Francois Viete. Nevertheless, until the 19th century, algebra consisted only on of the theory of equations.
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