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C c. 495 BC)[1][2] was an Ionian Greek philosopher, mathematician, and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism. Most of the information about Pythagoras was written down centuries

after he lived, so very little reliable information is known about him. He was born on the island of Samos, and might have travelled widely in his youth, visiting Egypt and other places seeking knowledge. Around 530 BC, he moved to Croton, in Magna Graecia, and there set up a religious sect. His followers pursued the religious rites and practices developed by Pythagoras, and studied his philosophical theories. The society took an active role in the politics of Croton, but this eventually led to their downfall. The Pythagorean meeting-places were burned, and Pythagoras was forced to flee the city. He is said to have died in Metapontum. Pythagoras made influential contributions to philosophy and religious teaching in the late 6th century BC. He is often revered as a great mathematician, mystic and scientist, but he is best known for the Pythagorean theorem which bears his name. However, because legend and obfuscation cloud his work even more than that of the other pre-Socratic philosophers, one can give only a tentative account of his teachings, and some have questioned whether he contributed much to mathematics and natural philosophy. Many of the accomplishments credited to Pythagoras may actually have been accomplishments of his colleagues and successors. Whether or not his disciples believed that everything was related to mathematics and that numbers were the ultimate reality is unknown. It was said that he was the first man to call himself a philosopher, or lover of wisdom,[3] and Pythagorean ideas exercised a marked influence on Plato, and through him, all of Western philosophy.

Hero (or Heron) of Alexandria (c. AD 1070) was an ancient Greek mathematician andengineer who was active in his native city of Alexandria, Roman Egypt. He is considered the greatest experimenter of antiquity and his work is representative of the Hellenisticscientific tradition. Hero published a well recognized description of a steam-powered device called an aeolipile(hence sometimes called a "Hero engine"). Among his most famous inventions was awindwheel, constituting the earliest instance of wind harnessing on land.[3][4] He is said to have been a follower of the Atomists. Some of his ideas were derived from the works ofCtesibius. Much of Hero's original writings and designs have been lost, but some of his works were preserved in Arab manuscripts. Career It is almost certain that Hero taught at the Musaeum which included the famous Library of Alexandria, because most of his writings appear as lecture notes for courses in mathematics, mechanics, physics and pneumatics. Although the field was not formalized until the 20th century, it is thought that the work of Hero, his automated devices in particular, represents some of the first formal research into cybernetics.[5] Inventions

Hero described[6] the construction of the aeolipile (a version of which is known as Hero's engine) which was arocket-like reaction engine and the first-recorded steam engine (although Vitruvius mentioned the aeolipile inDe Architectura some 100 years earlier than Hero). It was created almost two millennia before the industrial revolution. Another engine used air from a closed chamber heated by an altar fire to displace water from a sealed vessel; the water was collected and its weight, pulling on a rope, opened temple doors.[7] Some historians have conflated the two inventions to assert that the aeolipile was capable of useful work.[8]

The first vending machine was also one of his constructions, when a coin was introduced via a slot on the top of the machine, a set amount of holy water was dispensed. This was included in his list of inventions in his book, "Mechanics and Optics". When the coin was deposited, it fell upon a pan attached to a lever. The lever opened up a valve which let some water flow out. The pan continued to tilt with the weight of the coin until it fell off, at which point a counter-weight would snap the lever back up and turn off the valve.[9] A windwheel operating an organ, marking the first instance of wind powering a machine in history.[3][4] Hero also invented many mechanisms for the Greek theater, including an entirely mechanical play almost ten minutes in length, powered by a binary-like system of ropes, knots, and simple machines operated by a rotating cylindrical cogwheel. The sound of thunder was produced by the mechanically-timed dropping of metal balls onto a hidden drum.

The force pump was widely used in the Roman world, and one application was in a fireengine. A syringe-like device was described by Heron to control the delivery of air or liquids.[10] In optics, Hero formulated the Principle of the Shortest Path of Light: If a ray of light propagates from point A to point B within the same medium, the path-length followed is the shortest possible. It was nearly 1000 years later that Alhacen expanded the principle to both reflection and refraction, and the principle was later stated in this form by Pierre de Fermat in 1662; the most modern form is that the path is at an extremum. A standalone fountain that operates under self-contained hydrostatic energy. (Heron's fountain) A programmable cart that was powered by a falling weight. The "program" consisted of strings wrapped around the drive axle.[11]

Blaise Pascal (French: [blz paskal]; 19 June 1623 19 August 1662) was a Frenchmathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Christian philosopher. He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father, a tax collector in Rouen. Pascal's earliest work was in the natural and applied sciences where he made important contributions to the study of fluids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum by generalizing the work of Evangelista Torricelli. Pascal also wrote in defense of the scientific method. In 1642, while still a teenager, he started some pioneering work on calculating machines. After three years of effort and fifty prototypes,[1] he invented the mechanical calculator.[2][3]He built 20 of these machines (called Pascal's calculators and later Pascalines) in the following ten years.[4] Pascal was an important mathematician, helping create two major new areas of research: he wrote a significant treatise on the subject of projective geometryat the age of 16, and later corresponded with Pierre de Fermat on probability theory, strongly influencing the development of modern economics and social science. FollowingGalileo and Torricelli, in 1646 he refuted Aristotle's followers who insisted that nature abhors a vacuum. Pascal's results caused many disputes before being accepted. In 1646, he and his sister Jacqueline identified with the religious movement withinCatholicism known by its detractors as Jansenism.[5] His father died in 1651. Following amystical experience in late 1654, he had his "second conversion", abandoned his scientific work, and devoted himself to philosophy and theology. His two most famous works date from this period: the Lettres provinciales and the Penses, the former set in the conflict between Jansenists and Jesuits. In that year, he also wrote an important treatise on the arithmetical triangle. Between 1658 and 1659 he wrote on the cycloid and its use in calculating the volume of solids.

Srinivasa Ramanujan 22 December 1887 26 April 1920) was an Indian mathematician andautodidact who, with almost no formal training in pure mathematics, made extraordinary contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions. Living in India with no access to the larger mathematical community, which was centred in Europe at the time, Ramanujan developed his own mathematical research in isolation. As a result, he rediscovered known theorems in addition to producing new work. Ramanujan was said to be a natural genius by the English mathematician G. H. Hardy, in the same league as mathematicians such as Euler and Gauss.[1] He died at the age of 32. Ramanujan was born at Erode, Madras Presidency (now Tamil Nadu) in a Tamil Brahminfamily of Thenkalai Iyengar sect.[2][3][4] His introduction to formal mathematics began at age 10. He demonstrated a natural ability, and was given books on advanced trigonometrywritten by S. L. Loney that he mastered by the age of 12; he even discovered theorems of his own, and rediscovered Euler's identity independently.[5] He demonstrated unusual mathematical skills at school, winning accolades and awards. By 17, Ramanujan had conducted his own mathematical research on Bernoulli numbers and the EulerMascheroni constant. Ramanujan received a scholarship to study at Government College in Kumbakonam, which was later rescinded when he failed his non-mathematical coursework. He joined another college to

pursue independent mathematical research, working as a clerk in the Accountant-General's office at the Madras Port Trust Office to support himself.[6] In 19121913, he sent samples of his theorems to three academics at the University of Cambridge.G. H. Hardy, recognizing the brilliance of his work, invited Ramanujan to visit and work with him at Cambridge. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Ramanujan died of illness, malnutrition, and possibly liver infection in 1920 at the age of 32. During his short lifetime, Ramanujan independently compiled nearly 3900 results (mostlyidentities and equations).[7] Nearly all his claims have now been proven correct, although a small number of these results were actually false and some were already known.[8] He stated results that were both original and highly unconventional, such as the Ramanujan prime and the Ramanujan theta function, and these have inspired a vast amount of further research.[9] However, the mathematical mainstream has been rather slow in absorbing some of his major discoveries.[citation needed] The Ramanujan Journal, an international publication, was launched to publish work in all areas of mathematics influenced by his work.[10] In December 2011, in recognition of his contribution to mathematics, the Government of India declared that Ramanujan's birthday (22 December) should be celebrated every year as National Mathematics Day, and also declared 2012 the National Mathematics Year

The only currently living mathematician on this list, Andrew Wiles is most well known for his proof of Fermats 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). Although the contributions to math are not, perhaps, as grand as other on this list, he did invent large portions of new mathematics for his proof of the theorem. Besides, his dedication is often admired by most, as he quite literally shut himself away for 7 years to formulate a solution. When it was found that the solution contained an error, he returned to solitude for a further year before the solution was accepted. To put in perspective how ground breaking and new the math was, it had been said that you could count the number of mathematicians in the world on one hand who, at the time, could understand and validate his proof. Nonetheless, the effects of such are likely to only increase as time passes (and more and more people can understand it).

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