Tag Archives: famous mathematicians


…you like mathematicians?

Yeah, you do. Here’s a timeline showing when many major math figures lived and what their main contributions were.

(Leibniz FTW.)

Walk into the club like what up I got an infinite series

Today we had our second test in Complex Variables. The test involved figuring out quite a few Maclaurin series for functions involving i. I’ve been ridiculously busy and thus haven’t had a chance to check out the dude behind the Maclaurin series…until now!

So. A Maclaurin series is simply a Taylor series centered at zero. According to the almighty Wikipedia, this type of series is named after Colin Maclaurin, a Scottish mathematician that lived from 1698 – 1746 (so during Leibniz/Newton time and a little bit after). The reason centered-at-zero Taylor series are named after him is because he used them extensively in his Treatise of Fluxions when describing and characterizing points of inflection, minima, and maxima of smooth functions.

This dude was super smart. He entered college at 11 YEARS OLD and got a Masters degree three years later. He became a professor at age 19 and actually got a personal recommendation from Newton to be appointed deputy to James Gregory, the mathematics prof at Edinburgh, and then once he surpassed Gregory’s position, Newton was so impressed that he actually offered to pay his salary for him.

He also had a crapton of children (well, 7 children, which I guess probably wasn’t a crapton back then) and died of complications from edema.


I may not know a lot of things…

…but I do know my mathematicians.

20/20. Hell yeah.


(Hint: they saved the best for last.)

More birthday stuff

I can’t stay away from that website with the mathematician birthday/deathday data.

So I decided to look at the data a little differently this time. Each square represents either a death or a birth on the day of the year. The data are broken up by month by a small white space.


Note the “most eventful” and “least eventful” days. And look at October and all its within-group variance.

I think I’m going to do some stats on this data. Because that’s what I do. But I can’t do it for like another week, since next week involves LOTS of studying/homework/panic attacks.


More birthday fun!

This is fantastic info right here.

I don’t know why, but birthdays and the distribution of birthdays is really fascinating to me. I’m going to have to analyze this somehow.

And the birth and death statistics page is awesome, too. Interesting, interesting stuff.

Edit: compiled ‘em!


It’s kind of cool that I found this today, as today was the birthday of Rene Descartes! Happy birthday, Rene!

Edit 2: Not only did we lose l’Hopital on my birthday, but we lost Bertrand Russell as well? Man, throw in the birth of Ayn Rand* and February 2nd has not been kind to the world.

*James Joyce’s birth almost makes up for this.