Pierre de Fermat

Lejeune Dirichlet and the Mathematical Function

Lejeune Dirichlet and the Mathematical Function

On February 13, 1805, German mathematician Johann Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet was born. Dirichlet is best known for his papers on conditions for the convergence of trigonometric series and the use of the series to represent arbitrary functions. He also proposed in 1837 the modern definition of a mathematical function. “In mathematics as in other fields, to find one self lost in wonder at some manifestation is frequently the half of a new discovery.”…
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Euclid of Alexandria – the Father of Geometry

Euclid of Alexandria – the Father of Geometry

At about 330 BC, Euclid of Alexandria was born, who often is referred to as the Father of Geometry. His Elements is one of the most influential works in the history of mathematics, serving as the main textbook for teaching mathematics (especially geometry) from the time of its publication until the late 19th or early 20th century. In the Elements, Euclid deduced the principles of what is now called Euclidean geometry from…
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Gerolamo Cardano and Physician, Mathematician, and Gambler

Gerolamo Cardano and Physician, Mathematician, and Gambler

On September 24, 1501, Italian Renaissance mathematician, physician, astrologer and gambler Gerolamo Cardano was born. He wrote more than 200 works on medicine, mathematics, physics, philosophy, religion, and music. But, he is best known for his gambling that led him to formulate elementary rules in probability, making him one of the founders of probability theory. “The greatest advantage in gambling lies in not playing at all.” – Gerolamo Cardano (around 1560). Liber…
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It is not Certain that Everything is Uncertain – Blaise Pascal’s Thoughts

It is not Certain that Everything is Uncertain – Blaise Pascal’s Thoughts

On June 19, 1623, French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Catholic theologian Blaise Pascal was born. “A few rules include all that is necessary for the perfection of the definitions, the axioms, and the demonstrations, and consequently of the entire method of the geometrical proofs of the art of persuading.” – Blaise Pascal, The Art of Persuasion (1660) The Son of a Tax Collector “It is not certain that everything is uncertain.”…
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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 – Early Years Pell was born in Southwick in Sussex, where his father of the same name, John Pell, was pastor and rector; his…
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