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Algorithms in Modern Mathematics and Computer Science: Proceedings, Urgench

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Some TIME ago a group of mathematicians and computer scientists (including the editors of this volume) thought of making a scientific pilgrimage to the birthplace of al-Khw&rizmf, the outstanding ninth-century mathematician who gave his name to the word "algorithm". As his name indicates, al-Khwarizmi came from the Khorezm oasis, a celebrated center of civilization that has given mankind a whole constellation of remarkable philosophers, scientists, and poets. We had learned not only that al-Khwarizmi's famous writings eventually led to our word algorithm, but that the word "algebra" also stems from the title of his major work—thereby accounting for both algebra and algorithms, two of the most important concepts in all of mathematics and computer science. So we felt that a visit to this site would be a special experience for every mathematician, whether he works on abstract or concrete questions, whether he studies philosophical foundations or applications to modern society.

After discussing this idea with a wider circle of scientists, and also consulting with the Academies of Science in the Soviet Union and in the Uzbek S.S.R., our dreams became a reality: An international symposium on the theme Algorithms in Modern Mathematics and Computer Science was held during the week October 16-22, 1979, in the city of Urgench, the modern center of the Khorezm region in Uzbekistan. The symposium was organized by the Academy of Sciences of the Uzbek S.S.R., with the support of the Soviet Academy and its Siberian branch.

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