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Background Information


Professor Emeritus
University of Paris

Institute for Advanced Studies

Web References (18 Total References)

Professor Roshdi Hifni ...

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Professor Roshdi Hifni Rashed

Professor Roshdi Rashed, born in Cairo in 1936, is a world-renowned historian of science and currently an Honorary Distinguished Class Director of Research at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). His seminal contributions to the history, applications and development of sciences and mathematics at the hands of ancient Muslim scholars appeared in more than 40 books and 120 scholarly articles. He also initiated and supervised two Encyclopedias of the history of sciences in Islam.
Rashed conducted ground-breaking studies on the probability theory and its applications to social sciences. He also studied the role of mathematics in the experimental optics of Ibn al-Haytham and his successors, and discovered the manuscripts of Al-Alaa Ibn Sahl which embodied the theory of lenses and dioptrics long before European scientists of the 16th century. These findings led him to new insights into the contributions of Ibn al-Haytham and Kamãl al-Din al-Färisi to dioptrics and the Rainbow theory, respectively. He also edited, commented and translated into French all Arabic translations of ancient Greek works in mathematics (most of which were lost in Greek) as well as several previously unknown works of Muslim mathematicians of the 9th Century. These endeavors along with his discovery of four Arabic translations of Diophantus' Arithmetica - lost in Greek - stimulated his research into the history of diophantine analysis. He studied Diophantus's underlying algorithms, and was able, using tools of modern algebraic geometry, to determine the latent methods of Diophantus, and thereby shed new light into the works of later mathematicians like al-Khujandi and al-Khäzin - who invented the integer diophantine analysis - and subsequently Bachet, Fermat, Euler and Lagrange. Rashed also studied a hitherto unknown text of Lagrange on Diophantus and discovered many other texts that enabled him to reconstruct the history of the theory of numbers, showing for instance that the first studies on elementary arithmetical functions were accomplished before 1320 A.D. and that attempts to prove Euler theorem on perfect numbers were due to Ibn al-Haytham. He also edited, translated and commented on the works of al-Tusi and al-Khayyam. In addition to King Faisal International Prize for Islamic Studies, Rashed's enormous contributions were recognized by numerous prestigious awards and honorary degrees.
Professor Roshdi Hifni Rashed has been awarded in recognition of his insightful studies, authentication, commentaries and translations of Muslims' contributions to pure science, in particular their achievements in the fields of mathematics and optics. Professor Rashed has authored around 60 books and more than 100 scholarly articles in addition to his translation of some important relevant texts from ancient languages.
His methodology and the originality and depth of his works have earned him respect both in the Arab world and international. He is particularly recognized for his illustrious, six-volume book on the history of Arab contributions to science, and his four-volume book on analytical mathematics between the third and fifth Hejira centuries.
More about Awarding this Winner Professor Roshdi Hifni Rashed

Professor Roshdi Rashed, ...

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Professor Roshdi Rashed, CNRS, Paris (History of Science)

Saudi Aramco World : Rediscovering Arabic Science

www.saudiaramcoworld.com [cached]

Others asserted that the Arabic language itself was not suited for science, contends Roshdi Rashed, the dean of Islamic science in France. "Otherwise well-respected scholars like Ernest Renan and Paul Tannery excluded even the possibility of an Arabic contribution to science," says Rashed, a former fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, professor emeritus at the University of Paris and editor of the three-volume Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science.

Like Djebbar and Rashed, Audouze is one of a small number of dedicated scholars -fewer than 150 in France, Germany and Britain, but also scattered through the US, Arab countries, Asia and Latin America-who are struggling to give Arabic science the long overdue respect it deserves.
"One of the more drastic consequences of the dismissal of the vast Islamic contribution is that you cannot understand classical science without it," argues Rashed.
"A book published in Central Asia could be read in southern Spain less than a year later," explains Roshdi Rashed, an eminent Egyptian-born historian of science, in his office near Paris.
"Besides Maimonides, you have the great mathematician and physicist Alhazen (Ibn al-Haitham) moving from Basra to Cairo," says Rashed, "and the astronomer Nasir al-Din al-Tusi journeying every year from Khorasan in northern Iran through Iraq and on to Aleppo to teach.
"Scientists were always close to the courts; there was no such thing as independent science," explains Rashed.
"The translators were very important, but there was also a great deal of direct contact among the scientists themselves," points out Rashed.
"When you consider the two sides were in the middle of fighting one another, this is fairly astonishing," marvels Rashed.

DAWN - encounter; July 9, 2005

www.dawn.com [cached]

Roshdi Rashed, an outstanding contemporary historian of Arabic science based in Paris, has amply demonstrated that, for example, Islamic religious disciplines have played a fundamental role in the development of Islam's natural scientific tradition.These disciplines have been crucial even in creating conditions - intellectual, cultural and linguistic - leading to the large-scale translation of Greek works into Arabic, a phenomenon of massive importance not only in Islam but in world civilization.Recently, Rashed has shown in the case of Ibn Sina, a "double movement" between metaphysics and mathematics, a phenomenon embodied in the exchange between combinatorial analysis and ontological doctrines.

MuslimHeritage.com - Features

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- Professor Roshdi Rashed, CNRS, Paris, France (History of Science)

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