Timeline Mathematics

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c200-300    Diophantus, a 3rd century Hellenistic mathematician, wrote a series of classical texts on Algebra called Arithmetica.
    (SFEC, 4/5/98, Z1 p.8)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diophantus)

1519        May 2, Artist Leonardo da Vinci (67) died at Cloux, France. In 1994 A. Richard Turner wrote "Inventing Leonardo," a history of Leonardo legends. In 2004 Bulent Atalay authored “Math and the Mona Lisa: The Art and Science of Leonardo da Vinci."
    (TL-MB, 1988, p.11)(AP, 5/2/97)(NH, 5/97, p.58)(MC, 5/2/02)(Econ, 5/15/04, p.80)

1609        Mar, John Dee (b.1527), English mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, occultist, navigator, imperialist and consultant to Queen Elizabeth I, died about this time. Dec 1608 is also given as his time of death.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dee)(Econ, 6/30/12, p.86)

1650        Feb 11, Rene Descartes (b.1596), French mathematician and philosopher: "I think therefore I am", died in Stockholm. [see Feb 1]
    (Dr, 7/20/96, supl p.1)(MC, 2/11/02)

1673        The most important of Christian Huygens' written works, the "Horologium Oscillatorium," was published in Paris. It discussed the mathematics surrounding pendulum motion and the law of centrifugal force for uniform circular motion.

1687        Jul 5, The first volume of Isaac Newton's "Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica" ("Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy") was published in Latin by Edmund Halley. His invention of differential and integral calculus is here presented. Here also are stated Newton’s laws of motion, that obliterated the Aristotelian concept of inertia. 1) Every physical body continues in its state of rest, unless it is compelled to change that state by a force or forces impressed upon it. 2) A change of motion is proportional to the force impressed upon the body and is made in the direction of the straight line in which the force is impressed. 3) To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction. Book Three of the Principia opens with two pages headed "Rules of Reasoning in Philosophy." There are four rules as follows: 1) We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain the appearances. [A restatement of Ockham’s Razor: "What can be done with fewer is done in vain with more."] 2) Therefore to the same natural effects we must, as far as possible, assign the same causes. 3) The qualities of bodies which are found to belong to all bodies within the reach of our experiments, are to be esteemed the universal qualities of bodies whatsoever. 4) In experimental philosophy we are to look upon propositions inferred by general induction from phenomena as accurately or very nearly true notwithstanding any contrary hypothesis that may be imagined, till such time as other phenomena occur, by which they may either be made more accurate, or liable to exceptions.
    (V.D.-H.K.p.207-10)(http://tinyurl.com/6772jj)(Econ, 4/21/12, p.95)

1706        Pi, the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet, was 1st used as a mathematical symbol by William Jones of Wales. Pi represents the approximate ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.
    (SFEC, 3/14/99, p.C5)(WSJ, 3/15/05, p.B1)

1761        Apr 17, Thomas Bayes (b.1702), English theologian and mathematician, died. He established a mathematical basis for probability inference.

1783        The great Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler introduced latin squares as a new kind of magic squares. It later formed the basis for the “sudoku" number game.
    (www.cut-the-knot.org/arithmetic/latin.shtml)(Econ, 5/21/05, p.67)

1802        Aug 5, Niels Henrik Abel (d.1829), mathematician, was born in Frindoe, Norway.
    (Internet)(SFC, 3/26/04, p.A15)

1813        Apr 10, Joseph-Louis Lagrange (b.1736), Italian-born mathematician, died in Paris. He is considered to be the greatest mathematician of the eighteenth century.

1824        Niels Henrik Abel (1802-1829), Norwegian mathematician, proved that equations of the 5th order cannot generally be solved.
     (Econ, 5/15/04, p.80)

1829        Apr 6, Niels Henrik Abel (b.1802), Norwegian mathematician, died of tuberculosis. After him comes the term Abelian group, an algebraic commutative group. In 2004 Peter Pesic authored “Abel’s Proof: An Essay on the Sources and Meaning of Mathematical Unsolvability."
    (AHD, 1971, p.2)(SFC, 3/26/04, p.A15)(Econ, 5/15/04, p.80)

1832        May 31, Evariste Galois (b.1811), French mathematician who developed a general theory of equations, died from wounds suffered in a duel. In 2005 Mario Livio authored “The Equation That couldn’t Be Solved: How Mathematical Genius Discovered the Language of Symmetry."
    (www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Galois.html)(Econ, 8/27/05, p.68)

1852        Apr 12, Carl Louis Ferdinand von Lindemann (d.1939), German mathematician, was born.

1865        Sep 2, William Rowan Hamilton, Ireland's greatest man of science who made contributions in the study of optics and applications of algebra to geometry, died.

1870        Sophus Lie (1842-1899), Norwegian mathematician, became a media sensation after he was found outside Paris with a backpack filled with undeciperable mathematical notes and arrested as a spy.

1871        Oct 18, Charles Babbage (b.1792), English mathematician and inventor of a calculating machine, died. In 2001 Doron Swade authored “The Difference Engine: Charles Babbage and the Quest to Build the First Computer."
    (www.thocp.net/biographies/babbage_charles.html)(WSJ, 3/7/09, p.W8)

1899        Feb 18, Sophus Lie (b.1842), Norwegian mathematician, died.

1900         Aug, David Hilbert (d.1943), a German mathematician, presented a challenge list of 23 equations at a meeting of the Int’l. Congress of Mathematicians in Paris. In 2000 three of the equations still remained unsolved.
    (SFC, 5/25/00, p.A2)(SFEC, 8/27/00, BR p.1)

1900        Louis Bachelier (1870-1946), financial economist, wrote a  dissertation in Paris, "Theorie de la Spéculation." This and his subsequent work (esp. 1906, 1913) anticipated much of what was to become standard fare in financial theory: efficient market hypothesis, random walk of financial market prices, Brownian motion and martingales. He was a student of French mathematician Henri Poincare. Bachelier’s insights later underpinned the Black-Scholes option pricing model.
    (WSJ, 7/16/03, p.D8)(Econ, 12/19/09, p.130)

1906        Apr 28, Kurt Gödel (d.1978), Austrian mathematician, was born in the Moravian city of Brno. Godel later developed his incompleteness theorem showing that within any logical system, no matter how rigidly structured, there are always questions that cannot be answered with certainty, contradictions that may be discovered, and errors that may lurk.
    (V.D.-H.K.p.340)(SFC, 6/14/05, p.D2)

1911        Karl Pearson (1857-1936), English mathematician and later regarded as the father of modern statistics, founded the first statistics department at Univ. College London (UCL).
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Pearson)(Econ, 12/20/14, p.98)

1912        Apr 29, Henri Poincare (d.1912), French mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, died. He investigated the idea of space and led to the notion that space is too complex for mathematics. In 2002 Russian mathematician Grigory Perelman solved the 1904 Poincare Conjecture. In 2007 Donal O’Shea authored “The Poincare Conjecture."

1914        Apr 19, Charles Sanders Peirce (b.1839), American polymath, philosopher and scientist, died in Milford, Pa. In 1883 he used randomization in a psychological experiment at Johns Hopkins Univ.
    (www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Charles_Peirce)(Econ, 5/5/12, p.17)

1920        Apr 26, Srinivasa Ramanujan (b.1887), Indian mathematician, died in India. In 1913 English mathematician G.H. Hardy recognized his brilliant work, and asked Ramanujan to study under him at Cambridge. In 2007 British playwright Simon McBurney created “A Disappearing Number," for his theater group “Complicite," based on Ramanujan’s 5 years a Cambridge.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srinivasa_Ramanujan)(Econ, 9/1/07, p.76)

1936        The 1st Fields Medal in mathematics, the mathematics equivalent to the Nobel Prize, was awarded to Lars Valerian Ahlfors (1907-1996), Finish-born mathematician and Jesse Douglas of MIT. At the 1924 International Congress of Mathematicians in Toronto, a resolution was adopted that at each ICM, two gold medals should be awarded to recognize outstanding mathematical achievement. Professor J. C. Fields, a Canadian mathematician who was Secretary of the 1924 Congress, later donated funds establishing the medals, which were named in his honor.

1937        E.T. Bell authored “Men of Mathematics."
    (WSJ, 11/11/06, p.P10)

1938        Frank Benford, a physicist working at General Electric, formulated a theory known as Benford’s Law. It laid out the statistical frequency with which the numbers 1-9 appear in any set of random numbers. In 1995 a professor of accounting used the obscure theory to catch tax cheats, check forgers, and embezzlers.
    (WSJ, 7/10/95, p. B-1)(Econ, 12/15/12, p.76)

1941        Jan 11, Emanuel Lasker (b.1868), German mathematician and chess player, died. In 1927 he authored “Lasker’s Manual of Chess."
    (WSJ, 3/22/08, p.W10)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emanuel_Lasker)

1943        Feb 14, David Hilbert (b.1862), German mathematician, died. He is considered the father of modern mathematics.
    (Econ, 4/2/05, p.73)(www.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca/~cs462/Hall/hilbert.html)

1947        Dec 1, Godfrey Harold Hardy (b.1877), English mathematician, died. Non-mathematicians usually know G.H. Hardy for “A Mathematician's Apology," his essay from 1940 on the aesthetics of mathematics.

1954        Jun 7, Alan Turing (b.1912), English mathematician, died of suicide. Turing, a homosexual, was convicted in 1952 of gross indecency and forced to take estrogen injections. In 2006 David Leavitt authored "The Man Who Knew Too Much: Alan Turing and the Invention of the Computer. In 2009 British PM Gordon Brown apologized for the "inhumane" treatment of Alan Turing.
    (www.turing.org.uk/turing/)Econ, 7/8/06, p.79)(AP, 9/11/09)

1966        Paul Cohen (1934-2007), Stanford professor, won the Fields Medal, the top prize in mathematics.
    (SFC, 3/30/07, p.B6)

1972        Hewlett-Packard introduced the first scientific handheld calculator, the HP-35, which made the slide-rule obsolete.
    (SFC, 3/3/99, p.A11)(www.hp.com/hpinfo/abouthp/histnfacts/timeline/index.html)

1983-84    Shiing-Shen Chern (1911-2004), US Berkeley mathematician, was awarded the Wolf Prize in mathematics, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize. He reshaped differential geometry.
    (SFC, 12/9/04, p.B7)

1987        Dr. Stephen Wolfram (b.1959), a British scientist, set up Wolfram Research with funds from a MacArthur “genius" award that he received in 1981. The company’s first product was Mathematic, a piece of software that automates mathematical processes.
    (Econ, 6/4/11, p.30)

2000        United Parcel Service (UPS) introduced an algorithm called VOLCANO (Volume, Location and Aircraft Network Optimizer), which was jointly developed with MIT.
    (Econ, 9/15/07, p.86)

2001        Aug 23, The Norwegian government established the Abel Prize in mathematics in honor of the Niels Henrik Abel (1802-1829).

2001        Bob Palais of the University of Utah authored a watershed essay titled: "Pi is Wrong!" He argued that we should be celebrating and symbolizing the value that is equal to approximately 6.28, the ratio of a circle's circumference to its radius, and not to the 3.14'ish ratio of its circumference to its diameter. In 2010 Palais' followers gave the new constant, 2pi, a name: tau.

2003        Neil Turok created the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cape Town, South Africa.
    (Econ, 5/25/13, p.84)

2005        May 13, George Bernard Dantzig (90), Stanford math professor, died in Palo Alto, Ca. His discoveries included linear programming and the Simplex Algorithm, which provide means for solving complicated problems with many variables. They are used to find efficient means for producing complex products.
    (SSFC, 5/15/05, p.B3)

2006        Aug 22, In Spain Grigory Perelman (40), a reclusive Russian, won a Fields Medal, the math world's highest honor, for solving a problem that has stumped some of the discipline's greatest minds for a century, but he refused the award.
    (AP, 8/22/06)

2007        Mar 18, Scientists said that after four years of intensive collaboration, 18 top mathematicians and computer scientists from the United States and Europe have successfully mapped E8, one of the largest and most complicated structures in mathematics. E8 was discovered over a century ago, in 1887, and until now, no one thought the structure could ever be understood.
    (AFP, 3/19/07)

2008        Aug 13, Henri Cartan (b.1904), French mathematician, died in Paris. In 1956 he and Samuel Eilenberg wrote a fundamental textbook on homological algebra.
    (SFC, 8/25/08, p.B3)

2009        Mar 12, The US House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution recognizing March 14, 2009 as National Pi Day.

2009        May 28, Swedish media reported that a 16-year-old Iraqi immigrant living in Sweden has cracked a maths puzzle that has stumped experts for more than 300 years. Mohamed Altoumaimi has found a formula to explain and simplify the so-called Bernoulli numbers, a sequence of calculations named after the 17th century Swiss mathematician Jacob Bernoulli.
    (AFP, 5/28/09)

2010        Mar 24, Norway announced that John Tate, an American professor at the University of Texas, Austin, has won the 6 million kroner ($1 million) Abel Prize for mathematics. The prize jury praised Tate as "a prime architect" of number theory, a branch of mathematics that has played a key role in the development of modern computers.
    (AP, 3/24/10)

2010        May 22, Martin Gardner (b.1914), American writer on mathematics, died. His books included “The Annotated Alice" (1960).
    (Econ, 6/5/10, p.94)

2010        Oct 14, Benoit Mandelbrot (b.1924), the father of fractal geometry, died in Cambridge, Mass. His seminal book, “The Fractal Geometry of Nature," was published in 1982. He was born to a Lithuanian Jewish family in Warsaw. In 1936 his family fled the Nazis, first to Paris and then to the south of France, where he tended horses and fixed tools. In 2012 His wife completed his memoir: “The Fractalist: Memoir of a Scientific Maverick."
    (www.nytimes.com/2010/10/17/us/17mandelbrot.html?_r=1)(Econ, 10/23/10, p.106)(Econ, 10/27/12, p.84)

2010        Marcus du Sautoy authored “The Number Mysteries: A Mathematical Odyssey Through Everyday Life."
    (Econ, 7/31/10, p.68)

2011        Mar 15, In California Evan O’Dorney (17) of Danville beat 39 other finalists to win the Intel Science Talent Search. His mathematics entry was titled “Continued Fraction Convergents and Linear fractional transformations."
    (SFC, 3/16/11, p.C1)

2011        Mar 23, Professor John Milnor of Stony Brook University in New York won the 6 million kroner ($1 million) Abel Prize for mathematics.
    (AP, 3/23/11)

2013        Apr 19, Kenneth Appel (80), American mathematician of maps, died. In 1976 he and Wolfgang Haken used computer power to prove that four colors were sufficient to ensure that no adjacent countries on a map would be the same color.
    (Econ, 5/4/13, p.90)

2014        Mar 26, The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters said Russian mathematician Yakov G. Sinai (78) has won this year's $1 million Abel Prize in mathematics.
    (AP, 3/26/14)

2014        Aug 13, At the Int’l. Congress of mathematicians in South Korea, Stanford Prof. Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian-born mathematician, became the first woman to be awarded the Fields Medal for her work in understanding the mathematical symmetry of curved surfaces and saddle-shaped spaces.
    (SFC, 8/14/14, p.D1)

2014        Nov 13, Alexander Grothendieck (86), French mathematician, died. He was an opinionated and reclusive giant of 20th-century mathematics who shunned accolades and supported pacifist and environmental causes. In 1966, he was awarded the Fields Medal, but refused to travel to Moscow to accept it for political reasons.
    (AFP, 11/14/14)

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