Mathematics is the key to understand the phenomenon of science and nature, it is therefore also known as the ‘Language of Nature’ or the ‘Language of the Universe’. However, for some students (like me) this subject happens to be a troublemaker and brainteaser. Therefore, I have chosen 11 persons whose work had influenced a lot but at the same time has increased hurdles for students in their studies. So let us take a glance on the contribution of these people in the field of maths.
1. Aryabhata (476-550 CE)
Starting the list with an Indian and well known mathematician, Aryabhata was a mathematician and an astronomer. As a mathematician, he is known for his works in place-value system, and trigonometry. He was the first mathematician to invent zero and devised series for the summation of squares and cubes. His book ‘Aryabhatia’ contains his works on algebra, plane trigonometry, spherical trigonometry and a Table of sines.
2. Abu Jaafar Mohammad Ibn Mousa Al Khwarizmi (780-850 AD)
Known as the ‘Father of Algebra’, Mohammad Al Khwarizmi introduced the fundamental algebraic methods and techniques for solving equations. He also devised a formula for solving a quadratic equation systematically. Fibonacci later adopted his works in algebra and lattice multiplication.
3. Leonhard Euler (1707 to 1783)
One of the greatest minds in the field of Mathematics, Leonhard Euler is also considered as “The KING of Mathematics”. He is credited for the introduction of the concept of function and its notation as f(x), shorthand trigonometric functions. Among his works in the field of mathematics, the notation ‘e’ for the base of the natural logarithm (The Euler Constant), the Greek letter Sigma ‘∑’ for summation and the letter ‘i’ for imaginary units, as well as the symbol pi ‘Π’ for the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter are considered most important of all.
4. Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727)
Newton’s all round knowledge and phenomenal works in the field of mathematics, science and physics made him the most influencing personality in the human history. He proposed the principle of Infinitesimal Calculus, which opened the doors for the mathematicians to explore about the sense of motion and dynamic changes in the world around us. Well, it proved to be a great tool for expansion of maths, but it also probably put a huge pressure on our brains too.
5. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716)
Leibniz has also developed a system of infinitesimal calculus, independently of his contemporary Sir Isaac Newton. He demonstrated the use of Matrices for solving the equations and was first to use the binary system. Although both Newton and Leibniz work simultaneously in field of infinitesimal calculus, but its Leibniz’s notations and method of writing which is mostly preferred because of its simplicity and ease of expression.
6. Euclid (330-275 BC)
Coming to the area of Geometry, here is the ‘Father of Geometry’. Euclid was a Greek Mathematician well known for his book ‘Elements’. His axioms proved to be very helpful for devising theorems and the postulates provided the fundamental knowledge about the geometry. His book Elementals also contains information about the properties of integers and numbers and is also the source of Fundamental theorem of Arithmetic, i.e. every number can be represented as the product of prime numbers.
7. Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855)
Carl Friedrich Gauss is also referred to as “The Prince of Mathematics”; it is so because of his excellent and remarkable contribution in the field of mathematics. Gauss introduced Gaussian distribution in the field of probability and statistics. His theory of numbers mostly deals with the distribution of prime numbers among integers and combining of real and imaginary numbers. He also devised arithmetic series when he was 9 years old.
8. Georg Cantor (1845-1918)
Georg Cantor is credited to be the first mathematician who understood the meaning of infinity and applied it on the mathematical scale. He proposed the idea of set theory and proved that the set of ‘Real numbers’ are much wider than the set of ‘natural numbers’. Thus, giving rise to his new theories such as Number theory and Function theory.
9. Gerolamo Cardano (1501-1576)
Gerolamo Cardano, an Italian mathematician and physician is considered the first person to bring forward the theory of probability. His book about the game of chances contains the first mathematical analysis on probability. In his another book named ‘Opus novum de proportionibus’ he introduced the Binomial Coefficients and the Binomial Theorem, which is extensively used today.
10. René Descartes (1596-1650)
René Descartes is well known for his development of Cartesian coordinate system and often called as the “Father of Analytical Geometry”. It is used to trace the algebraic equations in the space between X and Y coordinates. The introduction of Cartesian system allowed us to plot larger distances in a graphs drawn at any scale. He also contributed some part in the development of modern calculus along with Leibniz and Newton.
11. Pythagoras (570-495 BC)
None of us are unaware of the Pythagoras Theorem. This theorem finds its application in every aspect of study and measurement. We can consider it as the foundational step for the development in geometry. His works with Aristotle put forward the ideas for modern mathematics.