Born in the late 8th century and living primarily in Baghdad, Al-Khwarizmi was one of the most influential mathematicians of all time. His work was revolutionary and provided a new approach to mathematics shifting emphasis from geometrical to algebraic representations. He was the one who invented the notion of “a thing” or more commonly known today as “x” (for example, think of an equation such as y = x^2).  He created the foundations of Algebra (named after the Arabic word ‘Al-Jabr’ for “restoration” – a term he used in his writing). The word “Algorithm” (the key to our modern world and today’s innovative technology) is named after him (when translated into Latin). As per some accounts, Al-Khwarizmi was “the most widely read mathematician in Europe in the late Middle Ages.”