Who Invented Math

June 16, 2023

Who Invented Math

Discover the fascinating origins of mathematics, the very foundation of our modern world. While you may have had a turbulent relationship with this subject during school, it's impossible to deny its profound impact on our lives. Mathematics is the bedrock of our existence, including finance, electricity, and our treasured gadgets. So, who invented math?

Surprisingly, mathematics did not sprout from a single individual’s mind but evolved within various ancient civilizations. As each civilization advanced, so did their mathematical discoveries, aligning with the evolving needs of their societies. 

Who Created Math?

The question of “who created math” leads us to a fascinating exploration of its ancient origins. Many scholars believe that mathematics predates our conscious awareness and practical application of its principles. It is widely suggested that ancient civilizations like Greece, India, China, Egypt, and Mesopotamia were among the first to embrace and harness the power of mathematics.

The discoveries made by Greek mathematicians have a significant impact on history and help us understand who invented math. Their pivotal role in sharing mathematical discoveries with the world is evident in the very word itself: “mathematics,” derived from the Greek term “mathema,” meaning “knowledge.”

While the branches of mathematics we currently study, such as algebra, geometry, and calculus, provide mere glimpses into its vast expanse, they mark the beginning of a captivating exploration that continues to unfold. The question of “Who created math” invites us to appreciate the collective human endeavor that gave birth to this remarkable discipline.

The History of Mathematics

Mathematics is believed to have originated from the needs of people to count and organize things. It’s not surprising that early math focused on basic elements and was used for practical purposes like managing food supplies or planning military strategies. 

The oldest mathematical models, around 4,000 years old, were simple and widely understood. Over time, math developed into various branches like geometry, algebra, calculus, and trigonometry. As more people recognized math as a structured science, they began exploring and advancing its principles. 

Famous mathematicians like Pythagoras and Euclid emerged during this time. Ultimately, the question of who invented math is elusive because it was a collective effort spanning thousands of years. It’s more appropriate to see math as something that developed through the collaboration of people worldwide.

Famous Mathematicians and Their Discoveries:

Archimedes – The Genius Behind Modern Mathematics

Archimedes, an ancient Greek mathematician whose contributions have earned him the esteemed title of the Father of Mathematics. 

His groundbreaking work propelled the development of modern mathematics, revolutionizing problem-solving techniques and deepening our understanding of geometric concepts. Among his notable achievements, Archimedes embarked on a quest to compute the elusive area of a circle.

In addition, Archimedes turned his remarkable intellect to the challenge of determining the volume of a sphere. Through his pioneering efforts, he unveiled an innovative methodology that unraveled the mysteries of spherical volumes.

Brahmagupta Pioneering Zero and Beyond

Brahmagupta, an influential mathematician hailing from ancient India, made pioneering contributions to the realm of zero and its computational principles. 

Throughout the history of mathematics, zero had served as a mere placeholder, lacking its own numerical significance. However, Brahmagupta’s seminal work revolutionized our understanding of this crucial concept, unveiling its potential for mathematical computation.

In the seventh century, this visionary mathematician demonstrated novel techniques for determining the cube and cube root of an integer, expanding our understanding of mathematical operations. 

Leonhard Euler: Architect of Mathematical Notation and Collaboration

Euler’s intellectual ingenuity manifested in his invention, popularization, and standardization of the very symbols and notations that adorn the pages of mathematical discourse today. From the transcendent constant e to the complex imaginary unit i, from the ubiquitous f(x) and summation symbol ∑ to the establishment of a, b, and c as constants, and x, y, and z as unknowns, Euler’s efforts reshaped the language of mathematics. 

Diophantus – The Revered ‘Father of Algebra’

Diophantus’s contributions to the field were immortalized in several seminal books dedicated to the intricacies of algebra.

Among his notable works, one stands out with resplendent brilliance – Arithmetica. Within its pages, he unraveled the complexities of algebraic equations, presenting a concise yet comprehensive compendium of optimal solutions and the accompanying theories that underpin the realm of numbers.

Thales of Miletus: Pioneering Mathematics and Philosophy

Among the esteemed ranks of Greek mathematicians, one figure shines with exceptional brilliance – Thales of Miletus. Revered as one of the most distinguished minds of his time, Thales holds the honor of being credited with the first recorded mathematical discovery.

Geometry stood as the cornerstone of Thales’ expertise, a tool he deftly wielded to unlock the secrets of the natural world. Thales seamlessly intertwined his mathematical prowess with practical applications, leaving an indelible mark on the exploration of spatial relationships.

Pythagoras of Samos: Unraveling the Legacy of Mathematical Marvels

Pythagoras is widely celebrated for a plethora of mathematical discoveries that bear his name.

Foremost among these enduring legacies is the renowned Pythagorean theorem. Reverberating through centuries, this fundamental proposition holds a place of honor in geometry and trigonometry. 

Through his pioneering insights, Pythagoras unveiled the profound relationship between the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle, forever imprinting his name upon this captivating theorem.

Trailblazing Mathematicians Shaping the Present: Terence Tao, Keith Devlin, and Andrew Sarnak

In contemporary mathematics, several luminaries shine with exceptional brilliance, earning them widespread recognition as influential figures in the field. Among them, Terence Tao, Keith Devlin, and Andrew Sarnak stand as towering pillars, their contributions spanning diverse domains of mathematical expertise.

Terence Tao – Prodigy & Mathematician

Terence’s contributions to the field of mathematics centre around partial differential equations, unraveling the intricacies of mathematical change. His groundbreaking research have propelled our understanding of this domain, leaving an indelible mark on the field.

Keith Devlin – Mathematician and Educator

Keith’s expertise lies in areas such as models of reasoning, the theory of information, and mathematical cognition. His contributions have enriched our understanding of these fields, leaving a lasting impact on mathematical scholarship.

Keith Devlin’s multifaceted career and unwavering commitment to mathematical education continue to inspire learners and educators alike.

Andrew Sarnak – Visionary Mathematician and Problem Solver

Andrew’s remarkable achievements lies in the creation of a groundbreaking field of mathematics called Arithmetical Quantum Chaos. This innovative field has opened new avenues of exploration, shedding light on intricate connections between number theory and quantum mechanics.


Who invented math? To answer this question we must acknowledge that it was not the invention of a single entity, but a collective effort spanning various cultures and individuals across history. From Greece to India, China to Egypt, and Mesopotamia, diverse cultures contributed to its development. 

In essence, mathematics is a captivating and intricate field of study. We owe a debt of gratitude and respect to the men and women who have dedicated themselves to its development and progression. 

So, the next time you find yourself grappling with a math problem, remember that you are part of a long lineage of individuals who have utilized and refined mathematics. Embrace the rich heritage and let it inspire you on your mathematical journey.

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