mathematics

Jerzy Neyman – Architect of Modern Theoretical Statistics

Jerzy Neyman – Architect of Modern Theoretical Statistics

On April 16, 1894, Polish mathematician and statistician Jerzy Neyman was born. Neyman was one of the principal architects of modern theoretical statistics. He first introduced the modern concept of a confidence interval into statistical hypothesis testing and co-devised null hypothesis testing in collaboration with Egon Pearson. Jerzy Neyman was born into a Polish family in Bendery, in the Bessarabia Governorate of the Russian Empire, the fourth of four children…
Edward Kasner and the Googol

Edward Kasner and the Googol

On April 2, 1878, American mathematician Edward Kasner was born. Kasner is best remembered for introducing the term “googol” for a very large number, which you might probably already know, at least if you know the story how the search engine “Google” got its name. Moreover, he is known also for the Kasner metric and the Kasner polygon. Edward Kasner was born among eight siblings in New York Coty, USA,…
Karl Pearson and Mathematical Statistics

Karl Pearson and Mathematical Statistics

On March 27, 1857, English mathematician and biostatistician Karl Pearson was born. Pearson has been credited with establishing the discipline of mathematical statistics. He founded the world’s first university statistics department at University College London in 1911, and contributed significantly to the field of biometrics, meteorology, theories of social Darwinism and eugenics. Karl Pearson was born as second child into a family from Yorkshire Quakers in Islington, London, UK, to William…
George David Birkhoff and the Ergodic Theorem

George David Birkhoff and the Ergodic Theorem

On March 21, 1884, American mathematician George David Birkhoff was born. Birkhoff is best known for what is now called the ergodic theorem. Birkhoff was one of the most important leaders in American mathematics in his generation, and during his time he was considered by many to be the preeminent American mathematician. George David Birkhoff was born in Overisel Township, Michigan, the son of David Birkhoff, a medical doctor, and…
Gösta Mittag-Leffler and the Acta Mathematica

Gösta Mittag-Leffler and the Acta Mathematica

On March 16, 1846, Swedish mathematician Gösta Mittag-Leffler was born. Mittag-Leffler‘s contributions are connected chiefly with the theory of functions. His mathematical research helped advance the Scandinavian school of mathematics. He is probably best known for founding the international mathematical journal Acta Mathematica. Mittag-Leffler was born in Stockholm, as the eldest of four siblings to the school principal John Olof Leffler and Gustava Wilhelmina Mittag. He later added his mother’s…
August Leopold Crelle and his Journal

August Leopold Crelle and his Journal

On March 11, 1780, German mathematician and civil engineer August Leopold Crelle was born. Crelle is best known for being the founder of Journal für die reine und angewandte Mathematik (also known as Crelle’s Journal). He also worked on the construction and planning of roads and the first railway in Germany, which was completed in 1838. “The real purpose of mathematics is to be the means to illuminate reason and to…
Emil Artin and Algebraic Number Theory

Emil Artin and Algebraic Number Theory

On March 3, 1898, Austrian mathematician Emil Artin was born. Artin was one of the leading mathematicians of the twentieth century. He is best known for his work on algebraic number theory, contributing largely to class field theory and a new construction of L-functions. He also contributed to the pure theories of rings, groups and fields. Emil Artin was born in Vienna to parents Emma Maria Artin, a soubrette on…
John Pell and the Obelus

John Pell and the Obelus

On March 1, 1611, English mathematician John Pell was born. Pell introduced the division sign (obelus, ÷) into England. The obelus was first used by Johann Rahn (1622-1676) in 1659 in Teutsche Algebra. Rahn’s book was interpreted into English and published, with additions made by John Pell. John Pell attended Trinity College, Cambridge and earned his bachelor’s degree in 1628. Two years later, Pell received his master’s degree and began teaching…
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.…
Leonid Kantorovich and the Optimal Allocation of Scarce Resources

Leonid Kantorovich and the Optimal Allocation of Scarce Resources

On January 19, 1912, Soviet mathematician and economist Leonid Vitaliyevich Kantorovich was born. Kantorovich shared the 1975 Nobel Prize for Economics with Tjalling Koopmans for their work on the optimal allocation of scarce resources. Kantorovich was born in St. Peterburg, Russia, into a Russian Jewish family. His father Vitaliy Moiseevich Kantorovich, was a popular medical doctor specialising in sexually transmitted diseases, and his mother was Paulina Grigoryevna Zaks. Kantorovich was…
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