Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Born: March 14, 1879, in Ulm, Kingdom of Württemberg, German Empire Died: April 18, 1955 (at age 76) in Princeton, New Jersey Nationality: German Famous For: Father of the Atomic Age. Many contributions to science that transformed the modern world Awards: Nobel Prize in Physics (1921), Time Magazine’s Person of the Century (1999)

Einstein’s Contribution to Mathematics

While Einstein was remembered for his contributions to physics, he also made contributions in mathematics. He contributed several equations to calculus and geometry, ten of which are called the Einstein Field Equations. He first published these equations in 1915. One of these equations demonstrates how stress-energy inflicts curvature of space-time.

Born: Dec 25, 1642, in Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, Lincolnshire, England

Died: March 20, 1727 (at age84), in Kensington, Middlesex, England, Great Britain

Nationality: English

Famous For: Newton’s method for estimating roots of a function

Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

Newton’s contributions to mathematics

Newton went on to publish a very influential work titled The Principia and it centered on infinitesimal calculus in geometric form. His work on cubicle curves in relation to the Euclidean plane was quite revolutionary for its time. As with his other studies, the work set the stage for amazing inroads in math and science when others built upon the groundwork he created. Newton made many discoveries in areas related to optics, the theory of finite differences, and innovative applications in geometry. Based on his very unique work, he received a great deal of acclaim. This led to him being named Lucasian Professor of Mathematics in 1669. Traditionally, a person who was awarded such a position had to become a priest. Newton was given an exemption from that rule.

René Descartes (1596-1650)

Born: March 31, 1596, in La Haye en Touraine, Kingdom of France Died: Feb 11, 1650 (at age 53), in Stockholm, Swedish Empire Nationality: French

Famous For: Developing the Cartesian coordinate system Contribution to mathematics

Descartes developed Cartesian (analytical) geometry, which is the use of algebra to examine geometric properties. He created an empirical comprehension of rainbows, along with proposing a naturalistic account for the solar system’s formation. This led Pope Alexander VII to add his works to the List of Prohibited Books.

Born: c. 287 BC in Syracuse, Sicily

Died: c. 212 BC (at about age 75) in Syracuse, Sicily

Nationality: Greek

Famous For: Accurate calculation for pi

Archimedes (c. 287 – c. 212 BC)

Archimedes’ contribution to mathematics

On his own, Archimedes continued to study geometry and science and the principles of mechanics and made such major contributions to these disciplines as an understanding of specific gravity, hydrostatics, and buoyancy along with ingenious everyday applications of the use of the lever and the pulley. He created formulations for such mathematical accomplishments as a formula to measure the area of a circle. This was done using a system he created called using infinitesimals. This is quite similar to modern day integral calculus. Archimedes also created a formula that enabled him to determine the volume of a solid or the volume of an item of irregular shape. Additionally, he was able to discover the precise value of pi and create a formula for determining the volume of a sphere. His formulas are still in use today.

Born: 1601 in Beaumont-de-Lomagne, France

Died: Jan 12, 1665 (at age 60 or 61), in Castres, France

Nationality: French

Famous For: Fermat’s Last Theorem...