Archive for mathematics

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1814 – Sylvester – bio

James Joseph Sylvester was born in London, England in 1814. He was a mathematician who did significant work on group theory, matrix theory and determinants. He often collaborated with Arthur Cayley and used matrix theory to study geometries of higher dimensions. PRECURSOR: 1501 – Cardano 1625 – de Witt 1642 – Seki 1646 – Leibniz […]

1834 – Haeckel – bio

Ernst Haeckel was born in 1834 in Germany and was a biologist who discovered many new species and developed a method of mapping all species into a genealogical tree that shows their evolutionary development. He called this technique phylogeny and also created the terms phylum and ontogeny. A phylogenetic tree shows the history of the […]

1635 – Robert Hooke – bio

Robert Hooke was born in 1635 on the Isle of Wight in England. He was known as an architect and philosopher, but made contributions in many fields. He discovered Hookes Law of elasticity which describes the compression and extension of springs. He collected observations made with magnifying lenses, of both small objects and distant objects, […]

1853 – Ricci-Curbastro – bio

Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro was born in Italy in 1853 and is known as the inventor of tensor calculus, which became an essential building block for relativity theory. He was a professor of mathematics at the University of Padua. He worked on differential equations and differential geometry, building on the contributions made by Gauss and Riemann. His […]

0598 – Brahmagupta – bio

Born in 0598 in the region of north western India currently known as Rajasthan, Brahmagupta is best known as the first mathematician to establish rules for working with the number “zero” as a quantity instead of a placeholder or a lack of quantity. He made one of the first documented attempts to use the principles […]

0476 – Aryabhata – bio

Born in the Assak region of central India around 476, Aryabhata was an Indian mathematician and astronomer who wrote a text in Sanskrit that is known as the Aryabhatiya. It was written in poetic verse and is a compilation of Indian knowledge of astronomy and mathematics at the time. Through this text, Aryabhata became the father […]

0078 – Zhang Heng – bio

Born in 78 in the province of Yuzhou (now known as Henan) of the Han dynasty in China, Zhang Heng was known as a scientist, mathematician, engineer, astronomer, painter and more. He became the chief astrologer to the emperor, An-Ti. He created a rotating globe that was a map of the sky and constellations. He […]

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 […]

-0325 – Euclid – bio

Euclid was a Greek mathematician and scholar who worked in Alexandria during the rule of Ptolemy. Euclid is best known for his vast collection of mathematics and geometry in a series of books called, “The Elements”. While it is possible that most of the work compiled in The Elements had been discovered previously by others, […]

-0575 – Pythagoras – bio

Pythagoras was a Greek mathematician born around -575 on the island of Samos. He is best known for the “Pythagorean theorem” which states that in a triangle with a ninety degree angle (right angle), a square formed by the long side opposite the right angle (the hypotenuse) is equal to the sum of the squares […]