Monthly Archives: November 2018

Benoît Mandelbrot and the Beauty of Mathematics

Benoît Mandelbrot and the Beauty of Mathematics

On November 20, 1924, French American mathematician Benoît B. Mandelbrot was born. Mandelbrot worked on a wide range of mathematical problems, including mathematical physics and quantitative finance, but is best known as the popularizer of fractal geometry. He was the one who coined the term ‘fractal’ and described the Mandelbrot set named after him. “Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does…
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Anna Seghers – Prominent Advocate of German Exile Literature

Anna Seghers – Prominent Advocate of German Exile Literature

On November 19, 1900, German writer Anna Seghers was born. Seghers became famous for depicting the moral experience of the Second World War. I came across the writer at the end high school. “The Seventh Cross” of Anna Seghers was the last piece of literature that we officially had to read in the German literature courses before high school graduation. And I remember that I was rather impressed by this novel. “What…
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The Brothers Grimm and the Göttingen Seven

The Brothers Grimm and the Göttingen Seven

On November 18, 1837, a group of 7 university professors from the University of Göttingen protested against the abolition or alteration of the constitution of the Kingdom of Hanover by Ernest Augustus and refused to swear an oath to the new king of Hanover. The Göttingen Seven (in German “Göttinger Sieben“) were led by Friedrich Christoph Dahlmann, who himself was one of the key advocates of the unadulterated constitution. The other six were…
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Douglas Engelbart and the Computer Mouse

Douglas Engelbart and the Computer Mouse

On November 17, 1962, U.S. American computer pioneer Douglas C. Engelbart has been granted a patent on the world’s first computer mouse. Using the computer mouse has become as normal as eating with knife and fork these days. But this has not always been the case, since the first computers had no graphical interface and every command had to be typed in via a traditional keyboard, which made the use of computers quite sometimes rather complicated. It…
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Jean Baptiste le Rond d’Alembert  and the Great Encyclopedy

Jean Baptiste le Rond d’Alembert and the Great Encyclopedy

On November 16, 1717, French mathematician, mechanician, physicist, philosopher, and music theorist Jean Baptiste le Rond d’Alembert was born. He was one of the most important mathematicians and physicists of the 18th century and a philosopher of the Enlightenment.  Probably he is best known as co-editor with Denis Diderot of the famous Encyclopédie, edited between 1751 and 1772.[5] “Nothing is more incontestable than the existence of our sensations; …” — Jean Baptiste le Rond d’Alembert,…
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Sociological Revolutionary – Émile Durkheim

Sociological Revolutionary – Émile Durkheim

On November 15, 1917, French sociologist David Émile Durkheim passed away. Durkheim formally established the academic discipline and — with W.E.B. Du Bois, Karl Marx and Max Weber — is commonly cited as the principal architect of modern social science. “For if society lacks the unity that derives from the fact that the relationships between its parts are exactly regulated, that unity resulting from the harmonious articulation of its various functions assured by effective…
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Charles Lyell and the Principles of Geology

Charles Lyell and the Principles of Geology

On November 14, 1797, Charles Lyell, British lawyer and the foremost geologist of his day, was born. Lyell was a close friend to Charles Darwin and is best known as the author of Principles of Geology, which popularized James Hutton‘s concepts of uniformitarianism – the idea that the earth was shaped by the same processes still in operation today. “The form of a coast, the configuration of the interior of a country,…
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The Creation of the First Web Page

The Creation of the First Web Page

On November 13, 1990, one day after Tim Berners-Lee‘s and Robert Cailliau‘s publication of the concept of a world wide hypertext system [2], the first web page was created.[1] Today, everyday life without the World Wide Web, or simply the Web, has become next to impossible. Our daily live depends on news being spread over the web and ecommerce has become a convenient commodity. Nobody wants to live without it. Incredible, but only 25…
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Auguste Rodin – Progenitor of Modern Sculpture

Auguste Rodin – Progenitor of Modern Sculpture

On November 12, 1840, Auguste Rodin, French sculptor and draughtsman, was born. He is widely considered to be the progenitor of modern sculpture. “Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.” — Auguste Rodin, As quoted in [9] Rodin was born in times of riots and revolutions that spread through Europe. France was hit by this wave of change in particular during the ‘February Revolution‘ in 1848 which…
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Paracelsus – a Typical Renaissance Scientist

Paracelsus – a Typical Renaissance Scientist

On November 11, 1493, Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, aka Paracelsus, the famous Renaissance physician, botanist, alchemist, astrologer, and general occultist was born. “All is interrelated. Heaven and earth, air and water. All are but one thing; not four, not two and not three, but one. Where they are not together, there is only an incomplete piece.” – Paracelsus – Collected Writings Vol. I (1926) edited by Bernhard Aschner, p. 110…
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