Some of the roots of algebraic geometry date back to the work of the Hellenistic Greeks from the 5th century BC. The Delian problem, for instance, was to construct a length x so that the cube of side x contained the same volume as the rectangular box a2b for given sides a and b. Menaechmus (circa 350 BC) considered the problem geometrically by intersecting the pair of plane conics ay = x2 and xy = ab. The later work, in the 3rd century BC, of Archimedes and Apollonius studied more systematically problems on conic sections, and also involved the use of coordinates. The Arab mathematicians were able to solve by purely algebraic means certain cubic equations, and then to interpret the results geometrically. This was done, for instance, by Ibn al-Haytham in the 10th century AD. Subsequently, Persian mathematician Omar Khayym (born 1048 A.D.) discovered the general method of solving cubic equations by intersecting a parabola with a circle. Each of these early developments in algebraic geometry dealt with questions of finding and describing the intersections of algebraic curves.
Austin's skyline historically was modest, dominated by the Texas State Capitol and the University of Texas Main Building. However, many new high-rise towers have been constructed since 2000Austin's ten tallest buildings were completed after 2003. The city's tallest building, The Austonian, was topped out on September 17, 2009. Austin is currently undergoing a skyscraper boom, which includes recent construction on the now complete 360 Condominiums at 563 feet (172 m), Spring (condominiums), the Austonian at 683 feet (208 m), and several other office, hotel and residential buildings. Downtown's buildings are somewhat spread out, partly due to a restriction that preserves the view of the Texas State Capitol from various locations around Austin (known as the Capitol View Corridors).
At night, parts of Austin are lit by "artificial moonlight" from Moonlight Towers built to illuminate the central part of the city. The 165-foot (50 m) moonlight towers were built in the late 19th century and are now recognized as historic landmarks. Only 15 of the 31 original innovative towers remain standing in Austin, and none remain in any of the other cities where they were installed. The towers are featured in the 1993 film Dazed and Confused.
Austin hosts several film festivals including SXSW Film Festival and Austin Film Festival, which hosts international films. In 2004 the city was first in MovieMaker Magazine's annual top ten cities to live and make movies.
Austin has been the location for a number of motion pictures, partly due to the influence of The University of Texas at Austin Department of Radio-Television-Film. Films produced in Austin include The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), Songwriter (1984), Man of the House, Secondhand Lions, Chainsaw Massacre 2, Nadine, Waking Life, Spy Kids, The Faculty, Dazed and Confused, Wild Texas Wind, Office Space, The Life of David Gale, Miss Congeniality, Doubting Thomas, Slacker, Idiocracy, The New Guy, Hope Floats, The Alamo, Blank Check, The Wendall Baker Story, School of Rock, A Slipping-Down Life, A Scanner Darkly, Saturday Morning Massacre, and most recently, the Coen brothers' True Grit, Grindhouse, Machete, How to Eat Fried Worms, Bandslam and Lazer Team. In order to draw future film projects to the area, the Austin Film Society has converted several airplane hangars from the former Mueller Airport into filmmaking center Austin Studios. Projects that have used facilities at Austin Studios include music videos by The Flaming Lips and feature films such as 25th Hour and Sin City. Austin also hosted the MTV series, The Real World: Austin in 2005. The film review websites Spill.com and Ain't It Cool News are based in Austin. Rooster Teeth Productions, creator of popular web series such as Red vs. Blue, and RWBY is also located in Austin.