Era – Middle Ages

1031 – Shen Kuo

Shen Kuo was born in 1031 in Qiantang (Hangzhou today) in Eastern China. He excelled in the fields of astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, medicine, literature, engineering, and was also known as a diplomat and expert at military strategy. Both his knowledge and assorted skills were encyclopedic. PRECURSOR: -0325 – Euclid 0220 – Ma Jun 0283 […]

0800 – astrolabe

The astrolabe is an astronomical calculator used to solve problems related to the position of the Sun and the stars in the sky. It enables an accurate estimation of the position of the astrolabe on the surface of the Earth by creating a flat projection map of astronomical objects. The principles of mathematics and astronomy […]

1126 – Ibn Rushd (Averroes)

Abu al-Walid Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Rushd (known as Averroes in western culture) was born in 1126 in Cordoba, Spain. He was known for integrating the philosophy of Aristotle with the Islamic philosophy of his culture and time. He accepted that religion and philosophy often seemed to contradict each other and taught that there were […]

1170 – Robert Grosseteste – bio

Born around 1170 in Suffolk, England, Robert Grosseteste was a student of many subjects who became a bishop in the Church of England. He was proficient in the Greek language, translating many works into Latin. He performed experiments with light and mirrors and made lenses from bowls filled with water to study refraction. His investigation […]

1170 – Fibonacci – bio

Leonardo Pisano (of Pisa), son of Gugliemo Bonacci, was born in Italy and became a mathematician mostly known as Fibonacci. He grew up in North Africa and learned the Hindu-Arabic system of mathematics from the Moors there. He may have been the first to introduce these advanced (for the times) ideas into European civilization and […]

1232 – Llull – bio

Ramon Llull was born in 1232 in Majorca, now part of Spain. He was a logician, philosopher and theologian. Llull was convinced that it was possible to “compute” truths by creating an “alphabet” to represent basic concepts and then using a mechanical “calculator” to manipulate the symbols and reveal the truth. His calculator was comprised […]

0990 – Bi Sheng – bio

Bi Sheng was born around 0990 in China and created a printing press made of porcelain that was the first to use movable type. At first, he used small wood blocks for each character, but then refined his technique by using clay that was fired to harden the characters into small thin porcelain pieces. PRECURSOR: […]

0850 – al-Battani – bio

al-Battani (Abu Abdallah Mohammad ibn Jabir Al-Battani) was born around 850 in Turkey (then Mesopotamia) and was a mathematician and astronomer. He advanced the accuracy of astronomical observations beyond that established in Ptolemy’s “Almagest”, including the motion of five planets and the length of our solar year. He catalogued 489 stars. He pioneered the use […]

1031 – Shen Kua – bio

Shen Kua was born in 1031 in Zhejiang province in China. He was a mathematician, astronomer, inventor and excelled in many other fields of science. While the chinese may have had compasses as early as 200, it was Shen Kua who first documented the magnetic compass needle, the concept of true north and the use […]

1238 – Yang Hui – bio

Yang Hui was born in Zhejiang province in China in 1238 during the Song Dynasty and was a mathematician who was associated with a triangular array of numbers very similar to Pascals triangle. Just as Pascal did not invent the triangle, Yang Hui seems to have inherited the knowledge of the numbers from Jia Xian, […]