Biography of the mathematician named Diophantus.

Essay by Bri-BriISBACKHigh School, 10th gradeA+, February 2003

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(200 AD. - 284 AD.)

I found very little known facts about Diophantus's life. Some of the things I found though were that he studied at the University of Alexandria in Egypt. He is know as the "Father of Algebra". He did numerous things for the world of mathematics. One of his greatest contributions is the book of Arithmetica.

The most I have found about his life is that he was married at the age of 33 and had a son who dies at the age of 42. That's 4 years before Diophantus dies at 84. Diophantus had people put a riddle on his tomb to find out how old he was. It stated:

God granted him to be a boy for the sixth part of his life, and adding a twelfth part to this, he clothed his cheeks with down. He lit the light of wedlock after a seventh part, and five years after his marriage He granted him a son.

Alas! Late-born wretched child; after attaining the measure of half his father's life, chill Fate took him. After consoling his grief by this science of numbers for four years, he ended his life.

How old did Diophantus live to be?

First you have to know that Diophantus came up with the idea of using 1 variable to solve a problem. To solve this problem you would need to get this equation:

(1/6)x + (1/12)x + (1/7)x + 5 + (1/2)x + 4 = x

Then solve for x: the answer should be x = 84.