Three Great Mathematicians By : Samantha Lawson
Aryabhatta (476-550) • Indian mathematicians excelled for thousands of years, and eventually even developed advanced techniques but they are denied credit because of Western ascendancy. Among the Hindu mathematicians, Aryabhatta may be most famous. During Europe’s “Dark Ages”, Aryabhatta advanced arithmetic, algebra, elementary analysis, and especially trigonometry, using the decimal system. Aryabhatta is occasionally known as "Father of Algebra“. His most famous accomplishment in mathematics was the Aryabhatta Algorithm for solving Diophantine equations. Aryabhatta made several important discoveries in astronomy. He was among the ancient scholars who realized the Earth rotated daily on an axis. • Aryabhatta is said to have introduced the constant e. He used π ≈ 3.1416. Among theorems first discovered by Aryabhatta is the famous identity Σ (k3) = (Σ k)2.
Contributions • Place value system and zero • Pi as irrational • Mensuration and trigonometry • Indeterminate equations • Algebra
Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718 - 1799) • An Italian philosopher, linguistic and mathematician who wrote the first book on differential and integral calculus making her the first important female mathematician after Hypatia. • She came from a wealthy family who made their money from silk. • Concentrated efforts on studying religious books and learning mathematics.
Contributions • The first woman in the Western world who could accurately be called a mathematician. • credited with writing the first book discussing differential and integral calculus • best introduction to the works of Euler • Example of the curve: y = 8a3/(x2 + 4a2) where a is any non-zero constant.
Fun Facts • Spoke 7 languages: French, Italian, Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, German and Latin. • recognized as a child prodigy. • Lived in an conventual semi-retirement, avoiding all. • interactions with society. • 2nd woman to be appointed professor at university. • A crater on Venus was named in her honor.
Isaac Newton (1643-1727) • Born as the only son of a prosperous local farmer. • Named after his father who was also Isaac Newton. • An established physicist and mathematician. • Known as one of the great minds of the 17th century.
…Continued • Born premature. • Newton was expected not to live. • Acclaimed as one of the world's foremost thinkers. • Remained deeply insecure and paranoid. • Believed Gottfried Leibniz had stolen the discovery of calculus from him. • Capable of great generosity and kindness. • Had psychological problems. • Later had a nervous breakdown in mid-1693.
Contributions • Calculated a derivative function f(x). • method of fluxions. • He named the instantaneous rate of change at a point on a curve the fluxion. • He also named the changing values of x and y the fluent. • Credited with the generalized binomial theorem.
…Continued • One of the first to use fractional exponents and coordinate geometry to derive solutions. • a2 - b2. • f(x + b) - f(x + a). • Algebraic equations with integer-only variables. • Found better approximations to the zeroes or roots of a function. • The first to use infinite power series with any confidence.
Sources • www.buzzel.com • www.biography.com • http://www.storyofmathematics.com/17th_newton.html • http://www.space.com/15898-isaac-newton.html