Monthly Archives: September 2014

Étienne de Condillac and the Importance of Language in Logical Reasoning

Étienne de Condillac and the Importance of Language in Logical Reasoning

Étienne Bonnot de Condillac (1714-1780) On September 30, 1714, French philosopher and epistemologist Étienne Bonnot de Condillac was born. A leading advocate in France of the ideas of John Locke de Condillac further emphasized the importance of language in logical reasoning, stressing the need for a scientifically designed language and for mathematical calculation as its basis. Étienne de Condillac was born at Grenoble as the youngest of three brothers to Gabriel Bonnot, Vicomte de…
Fritz Kahn and the Mensch Maschine

Fritz Kahn and the Mensch Maschine

The Original Poster of the Industrial Palace From: Fritz Kahn. Das Leben des Menschen Franckh’sche Verlagshandlung, Stuttgart On September 29, 1888, German Jewish physician Fritz Kahn was born. He is best known for his publication of popular science books and especially for his illustrations, which pioneered infographics. Fritz Kahn was born in Halle, Germany and grew up with Jewish orthodox traditions and a decent education. In his early years, the Kahn family…
Seymour R. Cray – the Father of Supercomputing

Seymour R. Cray – the Father of Supercomputing

CRAY 1 with exposed interiors On September 28, 1925, American electrical engineer and supercomputer architect Seymour Roger Cray was born. He designed a series of computers that were the fastest in the world for decades, and founded Cray Research which built many of these machines. Called “the father of supercomputing,” Cray has been credited with creating the supercomputer industry. Seymour Cray was born in 1925 in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, a small…
Pavlov and the Conditional Reflex

Pavlov and the Conditional Reflex

Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849-1936) On September 27, 1849, Russian physiologist and Nobel Laureate Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was born. He is primarily known primarily for his work in classical conditioning. And what is the first thing you will think about when you hear Pavlov‘s name? Well, probably his experiments with dogs, where he conditioned dogs to salivate when hearing a bell ringing because they expected to get food. But, let’s take…
Joseph Proust and the Law of Constant Composition

Joseph Proust and the Law of Constant Composition

Joseph Proust (1754-1826) On September 26, 1754, French chemist Joseph Louis Proust was born. He was best known for his discovery of the law of constant composition in 1799, stating that in chemical reactions matter is neither created nor destroyed. Joseph L. Proust was born on September 26, 1754 in Angers, France as the second son of Joseph Proust, an apothecary, and Rosalie Sartre. Joseph studied chemistry in his father’s shop and later…
Abraham Werner and the School of Neptunism

Abraham Werner and the School of Neptunism

Abraham Gottlob Werner (1749-1817) On September 25, 1749, German geologist Abraham Gottlob Werner was born. He is best known for his early theory about the stratification of the Earth’s crust. Moreover, he propounded an earth history that others labeled Neptunism that states that holding that all rocks have aqueous origins. While most tenets of Neptunism were eventually set aside, science is indebted to Werner for clearly demonstrating the chronological succession…
William F. Friedman and the Art of Cryptology

William F. Friedman and the Art of Cryptology

William F. Friedman (1894-1969) On September 1894, US cryptologist William F. Friedman was born. He is considered one of the world’s greatest cryptologists, who helped decipher enemy codes from World War I to World War II. Friedman was born as Wolfe Frederick Friedman, then part of imperial Russia, now Chisinau, capital of Moldova, as the son of Frederick Friedman, a Jew from Bucharest who worked as a translator and linguist for the Russian Postal Service,…
Hippolyte Fizeau and the Speed of Light

Hippolyte Fizeau and the Speed of Light

Hippolyte Fizeau (1819-1896) photo: Charles Reutlinger, Académie des Sciences, Smithsonian Institution Libraries On September 23, 1819, French physicist Armand Hippolyte Louis Fizeau was born. He is well known for his calculation of the speed of light and his suggestion to use length of a light wave be used as a length standard. Hippolyte Fizeau was born in Paris as the eldest son of Béatrice and Louis Fizeau, who was professor of Pathology…
William Playfair and the Beginnings of Infographics

William Playfair and the Beginnings of Infographics

Playfair’s trade-balance time-series chart, from The Commercial and Political Atlas and Statistical Breviary, 1786 On September 22, 1759, Scottish engineer and political economist William Playfair was born. He is generally considered the founder of graphical methods of statistics. William Playfair invented four types of diagrams: line graph, bar chart, pie chart, and circle graph. Playfair was born in 1759 in Scotland during the Enlightenment, a Golden Age in the arts,…
Juan de la Cierva and the Autogiro

Juan de la Cierva and the Autogiro

Demonstration of Cierva C.6 autogiro at Farnborough, Oct. 1925 On September 21, 1895, Spanish civil engineer and aviation pioneer Juan de la Cierva y Codorníu was born. His most famous accomplishment was the invention in 1920 of the Autogiro, a single-rotor type of aircraft, a predecessor of today‘s helicopter. Juan de la Cierva was born in Murcia, Spain to a wealthy family. Although trained as a civil engineer, Cierva became…
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