Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by mightfire500, Jan 24, 2015.
in your opinion
Hm, haven't read most of the 19th-20th century ones, but:
Apollonios of Pergamon ("The Great Geometrist") should be there (Fermat and Pascal, others, agree too )
He is among other things they guy who named the conic sections as ellipse, hyperbole and parabola, and had a vast number of works out. The multi-volumed work on Conics survives almost entirely too.
I would also name Eucleid but currently i am not aware what he wrote (if anything) on the issues created by the notion of a single point, while previous thinkers (eg Zeno or Democritos) had noted this as a key matter in our axiomatic system of math.
(as for most divisive figure, it seems that Cantor is a good candidate, but again i have not read more on his ideas on infinity than the very general overviews...).
Évariste Galois - my main inspiration to become a mathematician (for reasons that seem stupid looking back) but basically this guy created modern Algebra and so deserves a massive round of applause
Euclid - because I don't think there's anyone else who has quite as much cool stuff named after him. Except perhaps...
Leonhard Euler - The man, the legend, the Euler
Oh no, not that Euler person :\ (not that i read much on him, but instinctively dislike him after seeing his eponymous spiral).
Re Galois: was looking for a site with an account of his changes/generalisations/other to Abel's work on algebra. Currently cannot afford to buy a book on it, so any suggestions?
Erdős, Riemann, Hilbert, Leibniz
Since a satisfactory definition of 'greatest' is IMO impossible, I will throw out 3 great ones:
Newton, Gauss, Lobachevskii
Newton was more of an alchemist, though
No, that was just one of his many interests.
The Indian guy who invented 0.
Euler, Euler, and Archimedes
I am reading on Euler these days -- mostly due to reading a book on the last theorem of Fermat.
Can't say i find what he presents as impressive as i was led to believe it would be, given how often mathematicians name him as the towering figure.
Then again, currently i have read stuff he did up to his 30s, which seems to have been using infinite collapse (already there by the time of the pythagoreans...) and "i" calculation (not particularly genial), the start of graph theory (seems to have been tied to an idea of Leibniz about comparing geometric positions) and primes-co-primes stuff.
Maybe he gets far more impressive later on, but currently i am not seeing the kind of genius that Archimedes had. I mean the man invented calculus, let alone mass weight, rules of movement in water, connection of volumes between solids of similar attributes (eg cylinder-sphere-cone) and who knows what else which was later on lost.
Although - obviously- Archimedes too was standing on the shoulders of those before him. Eg in his own examination of approximating pi he used a variation of a method of Antiphon, Platonic student, about an inscribed polygon on a circle increasing number of sides up to tending to be one with the circular periphery.
Euler, Gauss, Lagrange.
Separate names with a comma.