Mathematics is an ancient science and mathematicians are responsible for giving us theories and ideas that we continue to use today in modern inventions and contemporary designs. The fact that some of these theories have been around for thousands of years is almost staggering. Continue reading to learn ten famous mathematicians and what they are remembered for.
1. Leonardo da Vicini- da Vinci is known for masterpieces such as the "Virgin of the Grotto" and "The Last Supper.” He was very mysterious about his interest in mathematics but he managed to make discoveries regarding geology and geography and had an understanding of blood circulation, tides, hydraulics, and anatomy. Although it didn’t quite work at the time, he also designed a helicopter using aerodynamic principles.
2. Galileo- Galileo Galilei discovered Venus’s phases and Jupiter’s moons. He supported the heliocentric theory which got him into trouble with the Roman Catholic Church and he was subsequently convicted of heresy and sentenced to life imprisonment under house arrest. His ideas have opened the way for contemporary mathematical and experimental physics.
3. Blaise Pascal- Born in France, at 16 he presented a projective geometry paper on what is now referred to as the "mystic hexagon.” Afterwards, he was thought to be the best mathematician since Archimedes. He became known as a mathematician and physicist, as well as a spiritual writer.
4. Isaac Newton is a famous Lucasian Professor of Mathematics. He discovered the force of gravity. He also invented fluxions, which later became calculus, as well as the law of the composition of light.
5. Pythagoras- Pythagoras is debatably one of the most influential mathematicians the world has known. Although known for being a mathematician, he was also a mystic and believed the rise of the soul to God was to be achievable by means of mathematics as numbers are the substance of all things.
6. Euclid- Euclid founded the school of mathematics in Alexandria. He first proved the infinity of prime numbers, the unique factorization theorem, and he came up with Euclid's algorithm for computing gcd. Some of his other accomplishments include the books: The Division of the Scale, The Optics, The Cartoptrics, a book on spherical geometry, and his all-inclusive mathematics textbook The Elements.
7. Déscartes- He became the inventor of analytic geometry and subsequently was called the "Father of Modern Mathematics." He developed very significant laws of motion and some of his more famous mathematical theorems include: the Rule of Signs, the well-designed formula relating the radii of Soddy kissing circles, and an enhancement on the early construction method for cube-doubling. He also discovered Euler's Polyhedral Theorem.
8. Johannes Kepler- Kepler studied to be a Lutheran minister, but instead became a professor of mathematics. Eventually, at the age of 19, he was made Imperial Mathematician. He created Kepler's three Laws of Planetary Motion, which was significant to Newton's Laws of Motion. He is sometimes referred to as the Founder of Modern Optics.
9. Archimedes- Perhaps considered the supreme ancient mathematician; he made advances in analysis, algebra, and number theory though he is most celebrated for his theorems of plane and solid geometry. The Archimedes constant is sometimes the phrase given to p since he figured out the surface area and volume of a sphere.
10. Aristotle- Aristotle is considered to be one of the world’s greatest scientists and philosophers. He was the first mathematician to write about infinity. Some of his writings include geometric theorems and that a circle is a center of points whose distances from two given points are in unvarying ratio.