Monthly Archives: February 2017

William Grey Walter and his Machina speculatrix

William Grey Walter and his Machina speculatrix

On February 19, 1910, British neurophysiologist and robotician William Grey Walter was born. Walter is best known for linking learning with a particular brain wave as revealed by measurements by electroencephalograph. But his most famous work was his construction of some of the first electronic autonomous robots. Even though William Walter was birn in Kansas City, he moved to England at the age of five and attended first Westminster School and…
Heinrich Karl Brugsch and the Decipherment of Demotic Script

Heinrich Karl Brugsch and the Decipherment of Demotic Script

On February 18, 1827, German egyptologist Heinrich Karl Brugsch was born. Brugsch was associated with Auguste Mariette in his excavations at Memphis and pioneered in the decipherment of Demotic, the simplified script of the later Egyptian periods. He also recognized the Semitic side of Egyptian grammar, thus enabling a far more comprehensive and systematic understanding of hieroglyphs. Heinrich Karl Brugsch was born in Berlin, Germany, as the son of Prussian…
Friedrich Eduard Beneke and experimental Psychology

Friedrich Eduard Beneke and experimental Psychology

On February 17, 1798, German psychologist and post-Kantian philosopher Friedrich Eduard Beneke was born. Beneke argued that inductive psychology was the foundation for the study of all philosophical disciplines. He rejected the existing idealism for a form of associationism influenced by both Immanuel Kant and Locke. Beneke agreed with Herbart’s general idea that mathematics should be introduced into psychology, but he felt that Herbart’s attempt to quantify psychological phenomena was insufficiently…
Henry Martyn Leland and his Motorcars

Henry Martyn Leland and his Motorcars

On February 16, 1843, American machinist, inventor, engineer and automotive entrepreneur Henry Martyn Leland was born. Leland founded Cadillac Motors (22 Aug 1902) to build the Cadillac, the first automobile with high-precision, fully-interchangable parts. During WW I, he formed a new company to manufactured aircraft engines, which after the war he produced a new automobile: the Lincoln. “Mr. Sloan, Cadillacs are made to run, not just to sell.”, Henry Martin…
Hans von Euler-Chelpin and the Alcoholic Fermentation of Sugar

Hans von Euler-Chelpin and the Alcoholic Fermentation of Sugar

On February 15, 1873, German-born Swedish biochemist Hans von Euler-Chelpin was born. Hans von Euler-Chelpin shared the 1929 Nobel Prize for Chemistry with Sir Arthur Harden for work on the role of enzymes in the alcoholic fermentation of sugar. Hans von Euler-Chelpin volunteered in the Bavarian first Field Artillery Regiment. In 1891, he began studying art at the Munich Academy of Painting and was taught by the German artist Ludwig Schmid-Reutte. Euler-Chelpin…
Willem Johan Kolff and Artificial Organs

Willem Johan Kolff and Artificial Organs

On February 14, 1911, Dutch-American physician and biomedical engineer Willem Johan Kolff was born. Kolff is considered to be the Father of Artificial Organs, and is regarded as one of the most important physicians of the 20th century. He made his major discoveries in the field of dialysis for kidney failure during the Second World War. Willem Johan Kolff was born in Leiden, Netherlands, as the eldest of a family…
John Louis Emil Dreyer and the New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters

John Louis Emil Dreyer and the New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters

On February 13, 1852, Danish-Irish astronomer John Louis Emil Dreyer was born. Dreyer’s major contribution was the monumental New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars (based on William Herschels Catalogue of Nebulae), the catalogue numbers of which are still in use today. John Louis Emil Dreyer was the son of Lieutenant General John Christopher Dreyer, back then the Danish Minister for War and the Navy. From early age, Dreyer…
Julian Schwinger and Quantum Electrodynamics

Julian Schwinger and Quantum Electrodynamics

On February 12, 1918, US-american theoretical physicist and Nobel Laureate Julian Seymour Schwinger was born. Schwinger is best known for his work on the theory of quantum electrodynamics (QED), in particular for developing a relativistically invariant perturbation theory, and for renormalizing QED to one loop order. Julian Seymour Schwinger was born in New York City, to Orthodox Jewish parents originally from Poland, Belle and Benjamin Schwinger, a prosperous garment manufacturer.…
Vivian Fuchs and the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition

Vivian Fuchs and the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition

On February 11, 1908, British geologist and explorer Sir Vivian Ernest Fuchs was born. Fuchs initiated and led together with Sir Edmund Hillary the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1957-58, which completed the first overland crossing of Antarctica in 1958. Vivian Fuchs was educated as a geologist and completed his first expedition to Greenland in 1929. One year later, Fuchs travelled with a Cambridge University expedition to study the geology of East African…
Richard Brauer and the Theory of Algebra

Richard Brauer and the Theory of Algebra

On February 10, 1901, German and American mathematician Richard Dagobert Brauer was born. Brauer worked mainly in abstract algebra, but made important contributions to number theory. He was the founder of modular representation theory. Richard Brauer was born in Charlottenburg, a district of Berlin, Germany, which was not incorporated into the city until 1920, to Max Brauer, a well-off businessman in the wholesale leather trade, and his wife Lilly Caroline.…
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