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Class will not meet Tuesday, November 3rd.
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Description
Class Level: Beginner
Age Requirements: 21 and older
Average Class Size: 14
Teacher: Suman Ganguli

Flexible Reschedule Policy: This provider has flexible, free rescheduling for any-in person workshop. Please see the cancellation policy for more details

What you'll learn in this lecture class:

What is algebra? This question is not as simple as it seems. In this course, we will explore the meaning and extraordinary mathematical power of algebra through a study of its historical development. We’ll begin with so-called classical algebra—or the invented use of letter symbols (variables) to represent numbers and the rules for their manipulation. 

Using variables led to the key concepts such as polynomials and a focus on solving equations–a focus that drove the development of algebra for a millenia, from Babylonian cuneiform tablets to the influential 9th-century treatise “?is?b al-jabr wa’l-muq?bala” (Calculation by Completion and Balancing) by al-Khwarizmi. Next, we’ll explore the development of symbolic algebra (initiated by the Latin translation of al-Khwarizmi), the utilization of cubic equations, which gave rise to complex numbers, and Descartes’s breakthrough invention of an X-Y coordinate system, which tied together for the first time algebra and geometry. 

Finally, we’ll explore the multiplicity of algebras that blossomed in the 19th century till today: linear (matrix) algebra, which arose from solving system of linear equations; “abstract” algebra, which defined algebraic structures such groups, fields, and rings; and Boolean algebra, which treated logic algebraically. Throughout, we’ll ask: how does algebra undergird the ways we interpret, organize and manipulate the world? 


Remote Learning

This course is available for "remote" learning and will be available to anyone with access to an internet device with a microphone (this includes most models of computers, tablets). Classes will take place with a "Live" instructor at the date/times listed below.

Upon registration, the instructor will send along additional information about how to log-on and participate in the class.

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Refund Policy

Upon request, we will refund the entire cost of a class up until 1 week before its start date. Students who withdraw after that point but before the first class are entitled to a 75% refund. After the first class: 50%. After the second: 25%. No refunds will be given after the third class.

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School: Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research was established in 2011 in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Its mission is to extend liberal arts education and research far beyond the borders of the traditional university, supporting community education needs and opening up new possibilities for scholarship in the...

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