completed in 1846 by Leverrier, whose suggestionsto the German astronomer Johann Galle led to Neptune's discovery.Adams published a memoir on the mean motion of the Moon in 1855 and computed the orbit of theLeonids in 1867. The Leonids are meteor showers that appear to originate in theconstellation Leo. They were especially prominent every 33 years from 902 to 1866.
Charles Babbage [1792-1871]
Babbage's design of the Analytical Engine is considered to be the forerunner of themodern computer. Lack of technology and money prevented Babbage from realizing hisdesign; however, a model built from his plans at a later date worked as Babbage had predicted. Babbage's ideas on the Analytic Engine would have been lost if Ada Lovelacehad not clearly described them along with her own ideas.Although computer scientists associate Babbage with the computer, he was better knownas a prominent mathematician of his time, and he held the position of Lucasian Professor at Cambridge. His important contributions were on the calculus of functions.Along with George Peacock and John Herschel, Babbage formed the Analytical Societyto promote analytical methods and the use of Leibniz's differential notation (thegeometrically suggestive
form that we know today). English mathematicians used Newton's fluxion notation almost exclusively until then, partly because it was widely heldamong them that Leibniz appropriated Newton's ideas about calculus and claimed themas his own. The fluxion notation (the use of a dot above the variable
to indicate thederivative, still used in many texts today) was abstract enough to hamper developments incalculus. Babbage's objective was to replace this "dot-age" with "
-ism" at Cambridge.
George Boole [1815-1864]
Boole was born in Lincoln, in eastern England. In addition to his mathematical prowess,he studied classics on his own. Boole's work on linear transformations led to someaspects of the theory of invariants. He also performed research on differential equationsand the calculus of finite differences. Boole is best remembered as one of the creators of mathematical logic, which is one of the foundations of modern computer technology.
Arthur Cayley [1821 – 1895]