Questions tagged [mathematicians]

For questions about those who do mathematics.

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30 views

Are there any mathematicians who expressed non-trivial sequences of rules on how to do research?

I recently saw a paper where there are presented some rules on how to learn mathematics (and do research) which were firstly articulated by Lagrange. Are there any similar rules that were expressed ...
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1answer
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What were Riemann's “semi-physical” methods?

In John Von Neumann's The Mathematician one can read that [$\dots$] even after the reign of rigour was essentially re-established with Cauchy, a very peculiar relapse into semi-physical methods took ...
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Mr. Newton at the Royal Mint

I would like to ask how Isaac Newton specifically applied mathematics to reducing forgeries and improving coinage while he was Master of the Royal Mint. Thank you.
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79 views

Was Giuseppe Peano one of the greatest mathematicians of his era? [closed]

Besides the Peano axioms which perhaps brought him fame but which are considered a refinement of similar previous axioms Peano seems to have done relatively little original work. Does the rest of his ...
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227 views

Who was that forgetful mathematician?

Who was the (Japanese?) mathematician who said in a lecture that a certain conjecture still remained to be proved, and one of the students present told him that he (the mathematician) had already ...
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978 views

Where did Leibniz explore the product rule of differential calculus?

In what book/letter did Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz explore the product rule as part of differential calculus?
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122 views

How did the Vietnamese manage set up the Vietnamese Mathematical Society during the Vietnam War?

The Vietnamese Mathematical Society was set up in 1965 by Le Van Thiem and Hoang Tuy. Both had studied in Europe, the former in Paris and Germany and the latter in Moscow. By 1965, the Vietnam War, ...
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Timeline for the earliest work on Frobenius problems

If $a, b$ are positive and coprime integers, then the set of linear combinations of $a$ and $b$ with nonnegative coefficients is all integers past $(a - 1)(b - 1)$; i.e. $\{ \lambda_1 a + \lambda_2 b :...
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51 views

Which mathematical objects retained the names given by their discoverer(s)?

Many mathematical objects and even theories are named after people, and most of the people with mathematical things named after them did not name said things after themselves. There is the famous ...
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1answer
120 views

Who formalized integer numbers?

I'm currently working on a thesis about Zermelo's axioms. In my first chapter I'm giving an introduction to the numerical treatment that Cantor gave to infinity. When I was writing something about ...
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61 views

Which books did famous physicists and mathematicians use to study in university? [closed]

I would like to know if there is any data on this topics out of curiosity. I know that telling everyone which textbooks they used isn't a common habit, but I am certain there are textbooks that some ...
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Who was “Urbino d'Aviso” that described how to fold paper into a pentagon?

I have found this in David Wells' "Curious and Interesting Puzzles" (1992), Penguin books, page 36: "The next problem occurs first in Urbino d'Aviso's treatise on the sphere (1682): A ...
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1answer
3k views

Was Kolmogorov enraged after learning about the Karatsuba multiplication algorithm?

Some years ago, I read that Kolmogorov was so enraged that Karatsuba disproved one of his conjectures that he terminated the seminar shortly thereafter. This Wikipedia page claims that Kolmogorov was ...
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History of Infinity: How does the idea of infinite set become widely accepted?

It seems pretty strange to me that the idea of infinity and infinite sets was initially opposed by many prominent Mathematicians, even driving Cantor into depression. However, in modern days, everyone ...
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What was Newton's road to his discovery of “Puiseux series” and “Newton polygon”?

In my opinion, one of Isaac Newton's greatest achievements in the "purer" aspects of mathematics was his discovery of Puiseux series; power series with fractional exponents. According to p.6 ...
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1answer
140 views

What did Newton's teacher contribute to the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus?

Isaac Barrow was one of the professors who taught Isaac Newton at Cambridge. According to this page, he is said to have made contributions to the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus that was devised by ...
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84 views

How did Kolmogorov came up with his formalization of intuitionistic logic?

According to this article Kolmogorov published a paper in 1925 in which he attempted to formalize Brouwer’s intuitionistic mathematics. In that paper there are the following logical formulas: \begin{...
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92 views

In which article/book chapter did Cantor, Hibert, and Poincare formally defined or directly discussed the term “potential infinity”?

Some media sources say that "Cantor claimed that there would only be potential infinity, not actual infinity" In addition, the following link claims that Hilbert, Poincare, and Cantor were ...
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1answer
110 views

Newton as the first one to establish numerical analysis as a new field of study

I was reading about the history of Newton's Method. Newton used a cubic equation, $x^3 - 2x - 5 = 0$, to show the efficacy of his method around 1670. I was wondering that why Newton would choose this ...
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963 views

Was there ever a mathematician or physicist who spearheaded a concerted effort to create a flawless musical instrument?

Specifically, is there any research paper or record of where someone renowned in their field performed experiments by using the properties of physics, engineering or mathematics to develop a musical ...
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190 views

Weil's reaction to Deligne's proof

How did André Weil react when Pierre Deligne finally solved the most important and hardest of the Weil conjectures ? Is there any written account on this ? I guess Serre's and Grothendieck's (...
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161 views

Did John Von Neumann hate pure mathematics that became too abstract?

John von Neumann wrote the following in his essay The Mathematician: As a mathematical discipline travels far from its empirical source, or still more, if it is a second and third generation only ...
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1answer
41 views

Who was Hans Bauer who worked on the Perron integral?

I'm referring to the Hans Bauer who is the author of this article from 1915 (H. Bauer, "Der Perronsche Integralbegriff und seine Beziehung auf Lebesguesschen" Monatsh. Math. Phys. , 26 (1915) pp. 153–...
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Do you know about this anecdote or its source where the mother reads out the letter to Gauss and made him Gauss, the mathematician?

I remember my brother telling me an anecdote about Carl F. Gauss three-four years ago, I want to know if anybody here also know about it, or can provide the source of it. The anecdote goes like this ...
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248 views

Who is considered the greatest mathematician between the years 400 AD and 1300 AD? [closed]

Some mathematicians are considered the "greatest of their era". For instance, Archimedes is generally considered the greatest mathematician of Antiquity. Is there any mathematician who stood out ...
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Mathematical results that became known long after their authors passed away

Liouville published Galois' work a decade after the death of this singular mathematician. Are there other cases of results being rescued by the mathematical community long after their authors were ...
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What was Kolmogorov’s point of view in the philosophy of mathematics?

Today the standard interpretation of intuitionistic logic is the Brouwer-Heyting-Kolmogorov interpretation which was presented independently by Arend Heyting and Andrei Nikolajewitsch Kolmogorow. ...
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29 views

Mathematicians working from prison? [duplicate]

I've heard one or two anecdotes about mathematicians that were confined to prison or some kind of detention and still managed to do some serious work. I would like to learn some actual stories about ...
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60 views

Did the mathematician Garrett Birkhoff ever work with or mention Feynman's path integrals?

Did Garrett Birkhoff ever work with Feynman's path integral? Did he ever work in his Many-Histories interpretation? Or at least, did he mention it in any of his articles?
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103 views

What actions and communications did Fibonacci undergo to introduce the Hindu-Arabic Number System to Europe?

Fibonacci is credited with the introduction of Arabic arithmetic to Europe. Did he tried hard to share this knowledge with other mathematicians? With whom? How did they react?
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Is there any historical evidence of this quote E.T. Bell attributed to C.G.J. Jacobi?

I read Men of Mathematics by E.T. Bell long ago, and this quote he attributed to Jacobi stuck with me: Certainly I have sometimes endangered my health from overwork, but what of it? Only cabbages ...
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89 views

Did Lagrange make any noteworthy contribution to the philosophy of mathematics?

I saw a post here about Gauss' contribution to the philosophy of mathematics and I was wondering if Lagrange also made any known contribution to philosophy (of math).
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Who is this Mathematician from 17th century or earlier?. Possibly the 18th century, but before calculus had spread?

I'm looking for a mathematician from this time period, 17th century or earlier, its probably at a period where trigonometry was the most advanced math that existed. I'm not sure of the exact quote ...
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For many years, were Emmy Noether and Helene Braun the only female mathematicians to obtain habilitation at Göttingen University?

Emmy Noether was the first woman in Germany to obtain habilitation in 1919. But I remember to have heard in the debate concerning the situation of women in academic mathematics that took place on the ...
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61 views

How much ground was prepared for Riemann so that he could conjecture Riemann hypothesis?

Although I do not doubt in Riemann˙s originality, I would like to know how much complex analysis was developed up to the day when Riemann conjectured what is today called Riemann hypothesis and how ...
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228 views

Does the word “God” appear regularly in the works of Joseph Lagrange?

In the Religious opinions section of the Wikipedia article on Laplace, there is an excerpt from Antommarchi's "The Last Moments of Napoleon", in which it is written that the name of God appeared ...
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Where did the Delannoy numbers make their first appearance?

I am writing a short exposition on the central Delannoy numbers and would like to find the year which Henri Delannoy first introduced them in a formal setting. I believe Delannoy's initial ...
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89 views

What was Littlewood's quip about Hardy and plagiarism?

I'm searching for a quote by Littlewood about Hardy not giving proper credit. The story (as I remember it) is that Littlewood claimed uncredited authorship of something Hardy wrote, Hardy claimed it ...
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322 views

What did G.H. Hardy teach Ramanujan?

Ramanujan didn't know modern mathematics. he lacked idea regarding analysis. I found in Wikipedia- Hardy tried his best to fill the gaps in Ramanujan's education and to mentor him in the need for ...
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62 views

What was Lagrange's contribution to the Knights Tour Problem?

Did Lagrange make any noteworthy contribution to the Knights Tour Problem?
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Did Lagrange finish his law degree during the 1750s?

According to this, Lagrange enrolled in the University of Turin to study Law in the 1750s but eventually shifted to Maths. Did he finish his Law degree?
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88 views

In which year did Lagrange start studying mathematics - 1752 or 1753?

Some articles indicate that he started studying maths "after reading an article by Edmund Halley" in 1753, but in this paper it is claimed that he started studying mathematics in 1752. So, in which ...
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50 views

Where did Krull dimension and zero-dimensional ideals come from?

I am trying to comprehend an article about primary decomposition of ideals. Zero - dimensional ideals are quite emphasized there. I wonder where zero - dimensional ideals come from, what is the ...
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114 views

Was Lagrange aware of Hamiltonian mechanics?

In the book "The Road to Reality", Penrose claims that Joseph Lagrange was aware of Hamiltonian mechanics. Is there any evidence that this statement is true?
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56 views

Who is Wanner from Rosenrock-Wanner (ROW) methods?

I've spent some time with a search engine trying to find out about Wanner, a person whose surname is mentioned in the name of Rosenbrock-Wanner (ROW) methods primarily used for iteratively solving ...
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1answer
123 views

Pairs of Mathematicians

In Hilbert by Reid, it is noted that Hilbert and Minkowski were great friends and often worked together on problems, seminars, and lectures. This is a similar relationship to the partnership between ...
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108 views

When did Dehn start to work on Hilbert's third problem?

According to this wiki article, Dehn solved Hilbert's third problem within a year. Did Dehn start to work on the third problem after Hilbert's talk? Since Dehn is Hilbert's student, they were likely ...
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Why didn't Euclid use equations or numerals in his proofs?

I think the Elements would have been a lot more concise if he did.
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233 views

Alexander Grothendieck's “stolen” correspondence in 1985?

On the website that now displays the part of Grothendieck's archives that had been held at the University of Montpellier, it is mentioned that: Dans une lettre adressée à Monsieur Lefranc datée du 13 ...
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Substantiating claimed Fourier quote about “an arbitrarily capricious graph”

The following quote (in English) is fairly widely attributed to Fourier, but I can't substantiate it. An arbitrary function, continuous or with discontinuities, defined in a finite interval by an ...

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