Questions tagged [mathematicians]

For questions about those who do mathematics.

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3
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1answer
114 views

Did Fourier use heated metal rings as experimental evidence to justify his mathematical discoveries?

In his answer to a previous question Alexandre Eremenko pointed out that Joseph Fourier in his book Analytic Theory of Heat gave all kinds of arguments in favor of the following mathematical ...
2
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1answer
189 views

Did Euler produce any Russian text?

Wikipedia says that Euler (1707 - 1783) "mastered Russian and settled into life in Saint Petersburg" in 1727. Did he produce any Russian text, mathematical or personal? I can only find Latin,...
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0answers
47 views

Is there relation between certain astrological aspects and talent for mathematics? [closed]

I did some modest research on relation between talent for mathematics and some astrological aspects, namely: the positive aspect of Mercury and Saturn, the positive aspect of Mercury and Uranus, ...
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0answers
215 views

When did it become a norm for mathematicians not to read proofs of all the results they use? [closed]

Please include evidence in your answer. This question is not opinion-based. I've heard that mathematicians sometimes don't read proofs. The following is a quote from mathoverflow. ... I think a vast ...
5
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0answers
64 views

Who coined the term: “Directed Graph”?

I found that the term "Digraph" was coined in 1955 by Frank Harary in "The number of linear, directed, rooted, and connected graphs", and that it was a term actually suggested by ...
0
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0answers
109 views

Origins of Stone duality

My question is a mix of mathematical and historical, if you consider my question will be better answered in the mathematics community, please tell me. I want to know the historical roots of Stone's ...
5
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2answers
306 views

A branch of mathematics which refused to be rigorous?

I'm currently in a class on formal mathematics/formal logic/axiomatic set theory. Someone asked, "At the end of the day, as mathematicians, why do we care about rigor?" My professor gave an ...
3
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1answer
118 views

What was the influence of Gauss on the understanding of the importance of non-Euclidean geometry?

As is known, Gauss came to similar conclusions as Lobachevskii in the problem of fifth postulate, but I don't know whether Gauss had any impact to the contemporaries in that story. Can anybody ...
3
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3answers
929 views

How did Newton & Raphson's version of the N-R method differ?

To quote Wikipedia, Raphson's most notable work... contains a method, now known as the Newton–Raphson method... Newton had developed a very similar formula in his Method of Fluxions, written in ...
77
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16answers
25k views

Examples of when the professional scientists or mathematicians were wrong, but the nonprofessionals were right

What are the most glaring examples — if any — of when the professional scientists or mathematicians were wrong, but the nonprofessionals were right?
4
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1answer
340 views

Grothendieck and the Gaussian integral

This article goes something like this: In a discussion with Grothendieck, Messing mentioned the formula expressing the integral of $\exp(-x^2)$ in terms of $\pi$, which is proved in every calculus ...
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5answers
1k views

What was the appeal of numerical analysis before computers?

I'm currently doing a numerical analysis course, and it seems many of the techniques were developed by mathematicians, such as Euler and Newton, who lived before the age of the computer. Why were ...
5
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2answers
229 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
268 views

Fraenkel's appointment at Göttingen

Abraham Fraenkel grandpère writes on page 127 of his book recently translated into English: My professional career began in March 1919 with... an invitation to Göttingen to Privy Counselor Felix ...
17
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3answers
2k views

Source for Hilbert's famous quote “Mathematics in Göttingen? There really is none anymore”

Reportedly this was uttered at a banquet in which Hilbert was seated next to the new Minister of Education, Bernhard Rust, in response to Rust inquiring as to the state of mathematics in Göttingen now ...
1
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1answer
152 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, ...
12
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2answers
661 views

How did Grothendieck encounter and adopt the categorical language?

Apparently the first mathematical publication of Grothendieck where he uses the terms “functor” and “category” in the technical sense is the Kansas report. From where Grothendieck had knowledge of ...
3
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1answer
98 views

Who was E. Busche?

Donald E. Knuth reports in his: TAOCP: Volume 1: Fundamental Algorithms (3rd ed.) in $\S1.2.4$: Integer Functions and Elementary Number Theory: Exercise 38 that this result: $$\sum_{0 \mathop \le k \...
3
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1answer
115 views

Who was Paul Gerwien?

The famed Wallace–Bolyai–Gerwien theorem has got its name from three mathematicians who proved it independently. More precisely speaking Farkas Bolyai first formulated the question. Gerwien proved ...
13
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1answer
1k views

Did Grothendieck really say that he felt “clumsy, even oafish, wandering painfully up an arduous track”?

Here I found the following quote, attributed to the great Grothendieck: Since then I’ve had the chance in the world of mathematics that bid me welcome, to meet quite a number of people, both among my ...
5
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2answers
955 views

Why didn't John von Neumann win the Turing Award, Fields Medal or Nobel Prize?

From what I've read in Wikipedia, John von Neumann made a stupendous number of contributions to economics, computer science and mathematics. Why, then, didn't he receive a top award in any of these ...
10
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1answer
284 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 ...
31
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38answers
9k views

Which mathematicians died very young or in a tragic way?

When I first thought of this question, I wanted to ask: If you could give one mathematician his remaining life until an average age for the time he lived in, who would you choose? However, this ...
67
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3answers
9k views

What evidence is there that Fermat had a proof for his Last Theorem?

Aside from the fact that Fermat was a genius, is it probable that he actually did have a proof? Some specifics that I think would point one way or another: Would the mathematics of his day allow him ...
2
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1answer
148 views

Did Kepler influence Fermat?

On page 347 in his "Mathematical Thought, volume 1", Morris Kline writes: "The work on the third class of problems, finding the maxima and minima of functions, may be said to begin with an ...
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2answers
419 views

What did Fermat do as a lawyer?

Fermat is easily one of the best known mathematicians of all time. We all know about Fermat's Last Theorem, Fermat's Little Theorem, his quadrature rule, his invention of probability theory, etc. ...
18
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1answer
3k views

Is the story about Fermat's writing on a margin true?

Is there any evidence that Fermat wrote on the margin of a book "I have discovered a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition that this margin is too narrow to contain." Everyone ...
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0answers
25 views

Who was the first person to prove the invariance of the Euler characteristic under triangulations?

Given a compact orientable surface $S$ and any triangulation where $F$ denotes the amount of triangles, $E$ denotes the amount of edges, and $V$ denotes the amount of vertices, we know that the Euler-...
6
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1answer
125 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 ...
2
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1answer
70 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 ...
5
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0answers
91 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
46 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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1answer
81 views

What are the Peirce's axioms of arithmetic and how do they relate to the Peano axioms?

I will be glad if someone who has seen Peirce's paper could summarily describe here Peirce's axioms and describe their relation to Peano's.
9
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1answer
2k views

Story of a student who solves an open problem

A number of years ago, I read a (non-fiction) story about a young mathematician whose professor wrote an open problem on the board and the student went ahead and wrote down a solution after a moment ...
3
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2answers
420 views

Who discovered the difference between the infinities?

As we know, there is a difference between the (infinite) size (or cardinality) of the integer numbers and the size of the reals ($\aleph_0$ and $\mathfrak c=2^{\aleph_0}$). Who discovered it first?
3
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0answers
126 views

Textbooks used by Oliver Heaviside

Oliver Heaviside achieved a very high level in mathematics and physics by self-study, starting from a modest school-level math, and working alone in his room, without a tutor. Is it known what ...
6
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4answers
380 views

Who are the mathematicians Cammaille and Schouder, mentioned by Heisenberg when recalling mathematicians who died during the Second World War?

I found there (on page 98) the following quote : Heisenberg: During the war I had five calls for help in cases where people were murdered by our people. One was Soloman, Hoffman's son-in law. I ...
12
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1answer
12k views

Who invented short and long division?

I am curious who came up with algorithms that we use today to manually solve mathematical division problems, such as short or long division; how were they established or standardized that way and why?...
0
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1answer
77 views

Independent and dependent variables

Im doing this presentation for school and we have to find out who exactly first used independent and dependent variables. I've searched everywhere but no answer was found its either John radford young ...
16
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1answer
4k 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 his seminar shortly thereafter. This Wikipedia page claims that Kolmogorov was ...
0
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1answer
58 views

Did John Greever or John Jay Greever write “Theory and Examples of Point Set Topology”?

I have a reference to "Theory and Examples of Point Set Topology" by J. Greever (1967: Brooks/Cole). I searched for biographical information on J. Greever and I identified: John Greever, b. ...
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2answers
178 views

Who were the mathematicians who hated teaching in class or disliked teaching?

Who were the mathematicians who hated teaching in class or disliked teaching? From this Article: Gauss hated teaching, and believed some students robbed him of his time. From this Article: Perelman ...
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0answers
25 views

Is Robert Earl MacKenzie (co-author of Introduction to Differential Manifolds) still alive?

I am making sure that my information on certain mathematicians is up to date and accurate. To this end I am looking at Robert Earl MacKenzie, who (according to my records) was born March 17, 1920. I ...
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0answers
134 views

How did Euler obtain this formula from a paper/work in 1748?

I am reading this book on trigonometric series, "Тригонометрические ряды от Эйлера до Лебега" (Trigonometric series from Euler to Lebesgue) , it is in Russian, and my Russian is abysmal. But ...
2
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1answer
61 views

Who is the John Thomas of “Thomas's Plank” and “Thomas's Corkscrew”?

Entries $93$ and $94$ in Steen and Seebach's "Counterexamples in Topology" are named "Thomas's Plank" and "Thomas's Corkscrew". These are apparently named for a certain &...
2
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1answer
119 views

What did Roger Apery mean by “Oh they grow in my garden”

Roger Apery, a French mathematician most remembered for proving that $\zeta(3)\in\mathbb{R}\setminus\mathbb{Q}$ (irrational) in $1979$. In this video posted by Numberphile: https://www.youtube.com/...
2
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1answer
225 views

Hilbert's problems

Hilbert presented ten of his 23 problems at the Paris conference of the International Congress of Mathematicians, speaking on August 8 in the Sorbonne 1900. In which of the 23 or 24 problems was ...
2
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1answer
60 views

Heyting and Lugano

I read in Wikipedia that Arend Heyting, logician, died in Lugano while all the biographies focus on his career in Amsterdam and nearby. Do we know if he lived in Lugano or not, and why died there?
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4answers
10k views

Why was Évariste Galois killed?

It is well known that Évariste Galois died a young man. I have heard that he died in a duel. What was the duel about? More rather what is the back story behind his death and did he really write down ...

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