Greatest Mathematicians Of All Time - Top 10 List

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10 Leonhard Euler

While Gauss is considered as the Prince of Mathematics, Leonhard Euler is hailed as the King of Mathematics. This blind genius is regarded as the greatest mathematian of all time. After the time of Euler, all mathematical formulas were named after the mathematicians who have discovered them. He has revolutionized the world of mathematics in his day and he was considered to be on par with Albert Einstein in terms of intelligence level. He has introduced mathematical notations, shorthand trigonometric functions, the idea of function and how it is written (f(x)), symbol pi for the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, the letter ‘/i’ for imaginary units, the Greek letter Sigma for summation and the concept of ‘e’ for the base of the natural logarithm which is more known as The Euler Constant. These concepts are very important in today’s mathematics.

He was able to solve the Seven Bridges of Koenigsberg problem through graph theory and discovered the Euler characteristic in connecting the object’s number of faces, edges and vertices. He was also able to disprove a number of existing mathematical theories. In his time, he played a vital role in developing topology, calculus, analysis, graph theory and number theory. Aside from his great contribution in the development of mathematics, there has been a rapid and drastic technological and industrial development that happened during his time.

9 Carl Friedrich Gauss

Card Friedrich Gauss has proved his mathematical prowess and prodigy when he created his first major discovery at such a very young age. When he was 21, he wrote his magnum opus entitled Disquisitiones Arithmeticae. The local duke recognized his talent and sent him to the Collegium Carolinum before he went the most prestigious mathematical university across the globe, Gottingen. When he graduated at the age of 22 in 1798, he started developing his mathematical ideas especially on Number theory discussing the prime numbers. He brought in the concept of Gaussian gravitational constant into physics, and proved Algebra’s fundamental theorem before he aged 24. Through the years, he devoted his time making improvements in the fundamental areas of mathematics which are until today, highly recognized.

8 G. F. Bernhard Riemann

Born in 1826 to a poor family, Bernhard Riemann, is considered as one of the most popular mathematicians in the century to which he belongs. His major mathematical contributions were in the field of Geometry where he was able to formulate a number of theories that bear his name including the Riemannian Surfaces, the Riemann Integral and Riemannian Geometry. He is known for his Riemman Hypothesis which was ignored on its first 50 years because of its legendary difficulties. Through the years, many mathematicians were able to understand his work and it rose to be one of the greatest questions in the world of modern science which confound and baffle other great mathematicians. There has been progress about his theory but it is noted to be incredibly slow. The Clay Maths Institute has offered $1 million for the proof of the theory and one will be a recipient of the nobel prize for mathematics for it. It is believe that new mathematics can help in discovering the proof of such theory. Until today, Riemann’s work is still believed to be beneficial in paving a way for the entry of new contributions in the field of mathematics.

7 Euclid

Known as the Father of Geometry, Euclid is popularly recognized for his magnum opus, Elements. It is perhaps one of his greatest contributions in the field of Mathematics as it is still in use in the 20th century. Unluckily, less is written about his biography even until his death.  He is also known for his logical proofs to several conjections and theorems. Today, Euclid has only five surviving works as his other five works were lost as time passed by. His works mostly revolved around the Number theory and Geometry.

6 René Descartes

Rene Descartes is a French Mathematician, Philosopher and Physicist who is well-known for his ‘Cogito Ergo Sum’ philosophy.This French mathematician lived from 1596-1650 and he has made a number of major contributions in the world of mathematics. Together with Leibniz and Newton, Descartes has formulated the foundations of calculus. He is also responsible for the creation of the Cartesian Geometry which is popularly known as a standard graph with x and y axis, and square grid lines. The introduction of Cartesian geometry has drastically changed the way distances are measured because points are now expressed as points on the graph. He is also the man behind the use of superscripts to express powers in Algebra. He also made a major contribution in the creation of modern mathematical notations.

5 Alan Turing

Alan Turing is a 20th century cryptanalyst and scientist who is believed to be one of most brilliant minds in the century to which he belonged. During the Second World War, he worked in Britain’s Government Code and Cypher School where he made his greatest achievements when he formulated highly effective methods in breaking codes. His discovery had been beneficial in defining German Enigma Encryptions

Even before the Second World War, Turing already had an idea about a computing style machine. After the war, he devoted his time in computing which made him one of the first real computer scientists. He has produced several papers about computing which is of relevance to artificial intelligence. He had developed the Turing test which is used in evaluating the intelligence level of a computer. In 1948, he worked with D. G. Champernowne in making computer chess program in times when computer doesn’t still exist. To test the viability of the program, he played as a part of the machine.

4 Leonardo Pisano Blgollo

Leonardo Fibonacci, also known as Blgollo, is considered as one of the world’s greatest mathematicians of the Middle Ages.  He lived from 1170 to 1250 and was popularly known for his introduction of Fibonacci Series which was already acknowledged to Indian mathematicians since the 200BC approximately. He also introduced the Arabic numbering system to which he is forgotten for most of the time.

He spent most of his childhood in North Africa where he learned using the Arabic numbering system. He found out that the Arabic system is easier and simpler to use compared to Roman numerals. When he returned to Italy in 1202, he introduced Arabic numbers and its practical applications in his work, Liber Abaci. His work was then adopted and today, he is hailed as one of the major contributors in the development of modern mathematics.

3 Isaac Newton and Wilhelm Leibniz

Newton and Leibniz normally come together because of their brilliant creation of modern infinitesimal calculus and their colossal contribution in the branch of mathematics known as calculus. Leibniz is recognized for his introduction of the modern standard notation known as the integral sign. He is also recognized for his contributions in the field of topology. On the other hand, because of scientific epic Principia, Isaac Newton was hailed as the “actual inventor of calculus” by most people. Nevertheless, it can be conclude that both men have created huge contributions in the field of mathematics in their own ways.

2 Andrew Wiles

Andrew Wiles is the only living mathematician today who is recognized for his development of the proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem: “That no positive integers, a, b and c can satisfy the equation a^n+b^n=c^n. For n greater then 2. (If n=2 it is the Pythagoras Formula)”. His contributions may not be as grand as what have others have contributed but he was able to formulate portions of new mathematics to support his theorem. He spent 7 years of his life in isolation just to formulate his proof. It was later found out that there was an error in his proof. He isolated himself once again and reformulated the solution. Then, his proof was accepted.

1 Pythagoras of Samos

Pythagoras is a Greek Mathematician who lived around 570-495 BC. He is the founder of the Pythagorean cult which was considered by Aristotle as one of the first groups that have extensively studied advance mathematics. He is known for his Pythagorean theorem in trigonometry. Some say that it was him who developed it but others claim that it was his students. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that his theorem imposes a great impact in the world of mathematics until today as it has become the base of most theorems in other areas of mathematics today. His theories paved for the development of geometry which labeled him as the Father of Modern Mathematics.

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