Questions tagged [mathematicians]

For questions about those who did mathematics

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Who first proved that empty set is subset of all sets?

Who is the mathematician who proved that empty set is subset of all sets and made it known to most mathematicians? I looked into the ripple effects in the mathematical world that would occur if the ...
user1274233's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

How come there is no portrait of Legendre?

Besides the famous cartoon, of course, there seems to be no portrait of Legendre. Legendre is well regarded nowadays and he was also quite influential at his time, for example, Jacobi and Abel praised ...
Croqueta's user avatar
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Why did Kronecker say "the integers are the work of God, the rest is the work of man"? [duplicate]

To me, it seems no number is the work of God, they are all concepts of the mind. However, it seems negative numbers are more artificial than the rest of the numbers out there. So why did he describe ...
Demon's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is there a resource about integer constructions and motivations?

I have an assignment about the foundations of mathematics. I am trying to compile a list where I get common construction of integers and a small writing about the constructor and their explanation. ...
Fraser James's user avatar
13 votes
5 answers
5k views

Great battles in the history of mathematics

Could someone list me the most important battles between mathematicians which happened in history, especially such that strong emotions played role in that time? Perhaps the most known one is the ...
Widawensen's user avatar
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Did Dedekind's construction of the integers and rational numbers become standard in mathematics textbooks?

I am referring to the construction using pairs of natural numbers in 1858. Since we use pretty much the same construction today in some analysis courses (Analysis 1, Terence Tao), except without the ...
Demon's user avatar
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1 answer
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When were negative numbers fully accepted into mathematics?

Dedekind gave a construction and explanation of integers and rational in 1858. This was as ordered pairs of natural numbers. I'm not sure if this was the standard view of these objects after this ...
Demon's user avatar
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Did Heinrich Weber have a structural approach to mathematics similar to Dedekind?

So I was reading a History of Mathematics by Katz, and noticed that the first definition of a field came from Weber, who had previously done extensive joint work with Dedekind. His definition was used ...
Demon's user avatar
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Did Dedekind's work directly influence the work of Hilbert?

I am wondering if Dedekind's theory about the structure of deductive science influenced the work of Hilbert. Hilbert obviously favored axioms at the beginnings of a deductive science, whereas Dedekind ...
Demon's user avatar
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What does Dedekind mean by "laws characteristic for the concepts"?

I’m slightly confused by what Dedekind means by “characteristic for the concepts they designate” in the quote below: "But [. . . ] these extensions of definitions no longer allow scope for ...
Jerry's user avatar
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Archimedes on hornangles?

Did Archimedes ever discuss hornangles? A hornangle (also known as angle of contingence, etc.) is the "crevice" between the circle and its tangent line at a point (from the modern viewpoint, ...
Mikhail Katz's user avatar
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Did the principle of permanence have an influence on mathematicians like Dedekind and Cauchy?

Around the time when mathematics was becoming formal, the notion of detaching from attaching "contextual interpretation" to symbols in algebra, up to the point of avoiding inconsistency (...
Demon's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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What were Auguste Comte's contributions to mathematics (if any)?

Auguste Comte is often described (e.g., on Wikipedia) as a “mathematician” besides being a philosopher of science. I am aware that he taught mathematics (he was at various times a répétiteur and/or ...
Gro-Tsen's user avatar
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1 answer
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The history of motivations [closed]

Most histories, that I've encountered, of mathematics about the 18th century and onward focus on a chronology of publications, results, definitions, and similar "pure" interests. However, I ...
Addem's user avatar
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Bieberbach’s 1934 lecture on “German mathematics”

Does anyone know of an English translation of Ludwig Bieberbach’s infamous 1934 Berlin lecture, delivered at the annual conference of the Deutscher Verein zur Förderung des mathematischen und ...
James Propp's user avatar
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66 views

Who was the first to define the limit of a convergent sequence with quantifiers $\forall$ and $\exists$?

I mean this definition: A sequence $(u_n)_{n\in \mathbb{N}}$ converges to a limit $l$ if and only if: $$\forall \epsilon>0 ~~\exists N \in \mathbb{N} ~~ \forall n \ge N ~~\vert u_n -l \vert < \...
someone's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
268 views

Who is Paul Graham's father?

In one of his essays, Y Combinator (YC) co-founder Paul Graham (PG) wrote$^\color{magenta}{\star}$ the following. My father is a mathematician. For most of my childhood he worked for Westinghouse, ...
Ooker's user avatar
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4 votes
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What is the opinion of famous mathematicians about academic research compared to mathematical competitions and olympiads? [closed]

I wonder what the quotes from mathematicians are about their views on academic research vs. math competitions. I can't find much, but I have found one: Math competitions are to research what spelling ...
User303131's user avatar
13 votes
10 answers
5k views

Who are the youngest mathematicians that published an original research article in a peer-reviewed journal?

There is a lot of interesting information about young mathematicians, but I cannot find any information about the youngest mathematician that published an original research article in a peer-reviewed ...
User303131's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
107 views

What is Cardano trying to say in this passage of his Ars Magna Arithmeticæ?

It is well known that Cardano considered the problem of "dividing 10 into two parts the product of which is 40" in his Ars Magna. This problems leads to the complex solutions $5+ \sqrt{-15}$ ...
Charles Bukowski's user avatar
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1 answer
225 views

How did Emmy Noether become interested in abstract algebra?

Emmy Noether was initially interested in invariant theory. But how did she become interested in abstract algebra? And why did she become particularly interested in ring and ideal theory?
pokssin's user avatar
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Source of a Poincaré quote: "Logic sometimes makes monsters..."

There's a quote by Poincare on the "new functions", such as continuous functions without derivatives, that were appearing during the second half of the 19th century. The fullest version I've ...
JMJ's user avatar
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297 views

John von Neumann's thinking process

I'm interested in John von Neumann these days. So I searched this file. And I read books The Man from the Future and John Von Neumann: The Scientific Genius Who Pioneered the Modern Computer, Game ...
pokssin's user avatar
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What does the 'W.H.' stand for in 'J.H.W.H. Conway' in Knuth's book Surreal Numbers?

In his book Surreal Numbers Donald Knuth refers to John Horton Conway as J.H.W.H. Conway. The J is for John and the H for Horton, but what about the W and the H? I have searched for Conway's middle ...
dwolfeu's user avatar
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126 views

Who invented bit permutations like shuffle, butterfly and bit-reversal?

This question is about a class of periodic permutations,that are produced by applying finite permutations to the binary digits of all integers. In lack of a better name, they shall be called bit ...
Watchduck's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
586 views

Did Euler know Ancient Greek?

In a previous question on this website: What was Euler's first language?, Alexandre Eremenko wrote the following about Leonard Euler: There is little doubt that he also learnt French in his ...
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Who was the first to use bijections?

I know that Bourbaki were the first who used the word 'bijection', but one-to one functions were for sure used before them. So do you aware of the earliest examples of one-to-one correspondences?
kerzol's user avatar
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1 answer
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Who was the first woman to complete the physics and mathematics program in Zürich?

According to descriptions of Mileva Marić, Einstein's first wife, she was the second woman to complete the mathematics and physics program at the Zürich Polytechnikum. However, nobody points out who ...
Mauricio's user avatar
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3 votes
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706 views

Did Cardano predict the date of his death then commit suicide on that date?

Morris Kline (Mathematics in Western Culture, 1953): It is said that he prognosticated his own death and committed suicide on the date predicted in order to maintain his reputation as an astrologer. ...
user103496's user avatar
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Gábor Szegő burial location

Yesterday I saw Pólya's burial spot in Alta Mesa Memorial Park in Palo Alto, CA. Actually, it was not a grave but an urn (which gives a new meaning to the term "Pólya's urn model"). ...
KCd's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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Historical background with Weber and Kronecker's Jugendtraum

https://mathoverflow.net/questions/74073/the-first-complete-proof-of-the-kronecker-weber-theorem I searched above link, and I was so interested about this post. Today, I have a question about ...
pokssin's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
168 views

How did Grothendieck come in contact with Category theory?

Category theory was formalized around 1950s, and Grothendieck made his breakthrough papers about 10-20 years from that time. I wish to know, how was it possible the ideas of Category Theory were so ...
tryst with freedom's user avatar
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0 answers
177 views

Grothendieck's complete absorption in mathematical research

I have recently been interested in the history of French Mathematics especially in Grothendieck and his school. I have also been fascinated with Grothendieck's personality. It is known that during ...
Luqman Waheeduddin's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
90 views

Who is the artist who depicted Tartaglia?

I mentioned in a previous question that I'm writing a young adult novel that explores the discovery of complex numbers. I might want to include an illustration of Tartaglia. All of the illustrations ...
Sue VanHattum's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
452 views

Who was Hans J. Maehly?

During some recent work on the computation of the inverse Langevin function I ran into trouble trying to generate a highly-accurate minimax rational approximation with a variant of the Remez algorithm,...
njuffa's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
245 views

Where did Lagrange write his technique of resolvents for solving polynomials?

From Andrew Ellinor & Satyajit Mohanty's article on a technique for solving cubics: Using Lagrange's resolvents, to solve the cubic, one has to first solve a quadratic. Given the general cubic, $$...
Hisham's user avatar
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7 votes
4 answers
3k views

Have all of Euler's works been translated?

I am interested in reading Euler's works. The Euler Archive contains some translated works but not all of them. I am just checking here to see if anyone know a complete translation of all of Euler's ...
Hisham's user avatar
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4 votes
6 answers
357 views

Examples of mathematicians who applied to patent their work

MIT's RSA encryption was granted a patent although it was not enforced for non-commercial applications. Similarly for Stanford's PGP encryption algorithm. However, these are institutions rather than ...
nwr's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
139 views

Did Skolem have any siblings?

The biographies of Thoralf Skolem focus on his scientific achievements. I could not find any data regarding whether he was an only child or had siblings.
user1868607's user avatar
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0 answers
118 views

Who discovered intrinsic curvature first?

Historically, Gauss measured it by an old method called after his name today: The Gauss map. This maps the normal vector at each point of a surface curve to the unit sphere. Then he measured the angle ...
dimachaerus's user avatar
29 votes
2 answers
1k views

How did Isaac Newton write the integral symbol?

Isaac Newton is known as the discoverer of the FTC (Fundamental Theorem of Calculus), so maybe he wrote the integral symbol and derivative symbol. I know he wrote the derivative symbol as $\dot y$ but ...
MIKANkankitsu's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
449 views

The Originator of Cobweb Diagrams

A cobweb diagram is a visualization tool that allows one to qualitatively study the iterates of a self-map of the real line based on the graph of the function; here is an example: (Here the map is ...
Alp Uzman's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
364 views

Is there a theorem proof whose accuracy is doubted because it is short?

Is there a theorem proof whose accuracy is doubted because it is short? He told me while chatting with a friend of mine. It's about a mathematician who proves a difficult theorem very briefly and ...
scarface's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
1k views

Leonhard Euler's Mathematical Proof of God [closed]

There is a famous legend inspired by Euler's arguments with secular philosophers over religion, which is set during Euler's second stint at the St. Petersburg Academy. The French philosopher Denis ...
Agent Smith's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
79 views

Biographical details on Otto Zoll

Zoll's surfaces are a special kind of surfaces generalizing the spheres, in that all of their geodesics are closed and of the same length. I've tried to gather some biographical details on Otto Zoll ...
Nicola Ciccoli's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
179 views

What does this quote by Paul Halmos mean?

I came across the following quote by the famous mathematician Paul Halmos: A clever graduate student could teach Fourier something new, but surely no one claims that he could teach Archimedes to ...
stoic-santiago's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
80 views

What are the names of parents of Adrien-Marie Legendre, and their dates of birth and death?

What are the full names and dates of birth and of death of the parents of Adrien-Marie Legendre? I couldn't find this information anywhere online. Not even their names. Thank you.
Jane B.'s user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
45 views

Why was Cauchy studying Schur polynomials and related topics?

Let $\lambda_1 \geq \lambda_2 \geq \cdots \geq \lambda_n$ be nonnegative integers. The Schur polynomial $s_{\lambda}(x_1, \ldots, x_n)$ can be defined as the ratio $$s_{\lambda}(x_1, x_2, \ldots, x_n) ...
David E Speyer's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
183 views

Where is Alfred Tarski buried?

Where is Alfred Tarski buried? He was a famous Polish mathematician. He died in 1983 in Berkeley, California, USA, according to Wikipedia. I tried a search on Find a Grave, but there is no entry for ...
Jane B.'s user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
121 views

Kolmogorov on frequentists versus Bayesians

What was Kolmogorov's attitude regarding the frequentist versus Bayesian statistics controversies? Did he ever write or speak about his own views on Fisher or de Finetti, Jeffreys, etc.? Or were those ...
hyportnex's user avatar
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