mathematics

Benoît Mandelbrot and the Beauty of Mathematics

Benoît Mandelbrot and the Beauty of Mathematics

The Mandelbrot set, named after mathematician Benoite B. Mandelbrot,  has become an iconic figure. 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. So, who of you has…
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Jean Baptiste le Rond d’Alembert  and the Great Encyclopedy

Jean Baptiste le Rond d’Alembert and the Great Encyclopedy

Jean-Baptiste le Rond d’Alembert (1717 – 1783) On November 16, 1717, French mathematician, mechanician, physicist, philosopher, and music theorist Jean Baptiste le Rond d’Alembert was born. He was co-editor with Denis Diderot of the famous Encyclopédie, edited between 1751 and 1772. D’Alembert was born in Paris and entered the famous ‘Collége Mazarin’ at the age of 12, where he studied law, as well as philosophy and arts. His educators noticed d’Alembert’s talent and…
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Wilhelm Schickard and his Calculator Machine

Wilhelm Schickard and his Calculator Machine

Wilhelm Schickard (1592-1635) On October 23, 1635, German astronomer and mathematician Wilhelm Schickard, who constructued the very first mechanical calculator, passed away. His famous calculator was able to perform additions and subtractions. For more complicated operations, it provided so-called Napier bones, named after the Scottish mathematician John Napier, who came up with the idea of logarithms. Although it is widely believed that the first mechanical calculating device was created by the French…
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The bustling Life and Publications of Mathematician Paul Erdös

The bustling Life and Publications of Mathematician Paul Erdös

  Mathematician Paul Erdös (1913-1996) © kmhkmh On September 20, 1996, Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdös passed away. He published more scientific papers than any other mathematician in history, with hundreds of collaborators. Thus, he even created a ‘small world’ of its own, the famous club of people that posess an ‘Erdös Number’. BTW, my Erdös number is 3, i.e. I have published a paper together with a co-author whose Erdös number is…
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Charles Sanders Peirce and Semiotics

Charles Sanders Peirce and Semiotics

Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914)Portrait at his Harvard graduation in 1859 On September 10, 1839, mathematician, philosopher and logician Charles Sanders Peirce, the founder of philosophical ‘pragmatism’ was born. Charles Sanders Peirce grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts in a well educated family. His father, himself professor of astronomy and mathematics, always supported his talented son. He even had his own little chemistry laboratory at home and began studying the ‘Critique of Pure Reason’…
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David Hilbert’s 23 Problems

David Hilbert’s 23 Problems

On August 8, 1900 David Hilbert, probably the greatest mathematician of his age,  gave a speech at the Paris conference of the International Congress of Mathematicians, at the Sorbonne, where he presented 10 mathematical Problems (out of a list of 23), all unsolved at the time, and several of them were very influential for 20th century mathematics. “Who of us would not be glad to lift the veil behind which the future…
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Please Don’t Ignite the Earth’s Atmosphere…

Please Don’t Ignite the Earth’s Atmosphere…

When in 1952 the world’s first thermonuclear fusion bomb was ignited, mathematicians and physicists thought it would be rather unlikely that testing the newly developed device might result in burning all the nitrogen in the earth’s atmosphere. However, the possibility could not be excluded completely. Nevertheless, they have have tested the bomb and fortunately for all of us not the like did happen. One of the key persons behind the development of…
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