Mathematics is one of the most popular subject which most people either love or hate. Those who hate maths might still get nightmares of showing up for the test without preparation and history of failure will repeat again. If you do not have a good teacher and a proper guidance, mathematics can be a tricky subject for you to wrap your head around it.
In our rapid evolutionary society, mathematics has been a vital factor and that is a fact nobody would be able to deny. We have achieved a lot because of maths, for instance: reached to the moon, allowing us to obtain the secrets of DNA, create and transmit electricity over hundreds of miles, gave rise to computers and all that they do for the world. It will not be inaccurate to say that without maths we’d still be living under the rock.
So let us take a look at the list of few of the greatest Mathematicians, who helped advance our collective understanding of math, but there are a few standouts whose brilliant work and intuitions pushed things in huge leaps and bounds:
1. Carl Friedrich Gauss
Born: April 30, 1777, Braunschweig, Germany
Died: February 23, 1855, Göttingen, Germany
Awards: Copley Medal
Education: University of Helmstedt, University of Göttingen, Braunschweig University of Technology
Carl Friedrich Gauss was a German mathematician who contributed significantly to many fields, including number theory, algebra, statistics, analysis, differential geometry, geodesy, geophysics, mechanics, electrostatics, astronomy, matrix theory, and optics.
2. Leonhard Euler
Born: April 15, 1707, Basel, Switzerland
Died: September 18, 1783, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Education: University of Basel (1720–1723)
Influenced: Carl Friedrich Gauss, Joseph-Louis Lagrange, more
Spouse: Salome Abigail Gsell (m. 1776–1783), Katharina Gsell (m. 1734–1773)
Leonhard Euler was a Swiss mathematician, physicist, astronomer, logician and engineer who made important and influential discoveries in many branches of mathematics like infinitesimal calculus and graph theory while also making pioneering contributions to several branches such as topology and analytic number theory. He also introduced much of the modern mathematical terminology and notation, particularly for mathematical analysis, such as the notion of a mathematical function.
3. Isaac Newton
Born: January 4, 1643, Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, United Kingdom
Died: March 31, 1727, Kensington, London, United Kingdom
Full name: Sir Isaac Newton
Education: Trinity College, Cambridge (1667–1668), The King’s School, Grantham (1955-1959)
Sir Isaac Newton PRS was an English mathematician, astronomer, and physicist who is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time and a key figure in the scientific revolution.
Born: Alexandria, Egypt
Influenced: Stilpo, Thrasymachus of Corinth, Clinomachus, Eubulides, Ichthyas
Euclid of Megara was a Greek Socratic philosopher who founded the Megarian school of philosophy. He was a pupil of Socrates in the late 5th century BCE and was present at his death. He held the supreme good to be one, eternal and unchangeable and denied the existence of anything contrary to the good.
5. Srinivasa Ramanujan
Born: December 22, 1887, Erode
Died: April 26, 1920, Kumbakonam
Spouse: Janakiammal (m. 1909–1920)
Education: Trinity College, Cambridge (1919–1920), University of Cambridge (1914-1919)
Parents: Komalatammal, K. Srinivasa Iyengar
Srinivasa Ramanujan was an Indian mathematician who made significant contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory and continued fractions. At age 31 Ramanujan was one of the youngest Fellows in the history of the Royal Society. He was elected “for his investigation in Elliptic functions and the Theory of Numbers.” On 13 October 1918, he was the first Indian to be elected a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.
6. Pierre de Fermat
Born: August 17, 1601, Beaumont-de-Lomagne, France
Died: January 12, 1665, Castres, France
Education: University of Orléans (1623–1626)
Spouse: Louise Long Fermat (m. ?–1665)
Books: Writings on Geometrical Loci
Parents: Dominique Fermat, Françoise Cazeneuve Fermat
Pierre de Fermat, A French mathematician who is often called the founder of the modern theory of numbers.Fermat developed a system of analytic geometry which both preceded and surpassed that of Descartes; he developed methods of differential and integral calculus which Newton acknowledged as an inspiration. He was also the first European to find the integration formula for the general polynomial, he used his calculus to find centers of gravity etc.
7. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
Born: July 1, 1646, Leipzig, Germany
Died: November 14, 1716, Hanover, Germany
Influenced: Ferdinand Georg Frobenius, more
Education: Leipzig University, University of Altdorf, University of Jena
Influenced by: René Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, Blaise Pascal and many more.
Leibniz pioneered the common discourse of mathematics, including its continuous, discrete, and symbolic aspects. His ideas on symbolic logic weren’t pursued and it was left to Boole to reinvent this almost two centuries later.
8. Albert Einstein
Born: March 14, 1879, Ulm, Germany
Died: April 18, 1955, Princeton, New Jersey, United States
Influenced: Satyendra Nath Bose, Leo Szilard, Wolfgang Pauli, more
Influenced by: Isaac Newton, Mahatma Gandhi and many more.
Albert Einstein was unquestionably one of the two greatest physicists in all of history. The atomic theory achieved general acceptance only after Einstein’s 1905 paper which showed that atoms’ discreteness explained Brownian motion. Another 1905 paper introduced the famous equation E = mc2. Einstein published at least 300 books or papers on physics altogether.
Areas of interest: Politics, Mathematics, Metaphysics, Ethics, Music
Influenced: Philolaus, Empedocles, Plato, Alcmaeon of Croton, Euclid, Johannes Kepler, Parmenides, Hippasus
Philosophical era: Ancient philosophy
Schools of thought: Pythagoreanism
Influenced by: Thales of Miletus, Anaximander, Pherecydes of Syros, Themistoclea
Pythagoras discovered that harmonious intervals in music are based on simple rational numbers. This led to a fascination with integers and mystic numerology. The Pythagorean Theorem was known long before Pythagoras, but he is often credited with the first proof. Apastambha proved it in India at about the same time; some conjecture that Pythagoras journeyed to India and learned of the proof there.
10. René Descartes
Born: March 31, 1596, Descartes, Indre-et-Loire, France
Died: February 11, 1650, Stockholm, Sweden
Influenced: Noam Chomsky, Baruch Spinoza, Slavoj Žižek, more
Influenced by: Aristotle, Plato, Thomas Aquinas, Archimedes and many more.
René Descartes is considered the inventor of both analytic geometry and symbolic algebraic notation. His use of equations to partially solve the geometric Problem of Pappus revolutionized mathematics.
Born: 476 AD, Assaka
Died: 550 AD, India
Main interests: Mathematics, Astronomy
Influenced: Lalla, Bhāskara I, Brahmagupta, Varāhamihira
Indian mathematicians excelled for thousands of years, and eventually even developed advanced techniques like Taylor series before Europeans did, but they are denied credit because of Western ascendancy. Among the Hindu mathematicians, Aryabhata was known as Arjehir by Arabs, may be most famous. Aryabhata is famous for the identity Σ (k3) = (Σ k)2. His most famous accomplishment in mathematics was the Aryabhata Algorithm for solving Diophantine equations. He made several important discoveries in astronomy.