Mathematics has revolutionized our lives in so many ways. In fact, much of the technological advancements over the years wouldn’t have been possible without mathematics. This is one of the subjects that humanity knew since the prehistoric times. Without mathematics, it wouldn’t have been possible for engineers to design great buildings.
Even scientists wouldn’t have come up with ground-breaking inventions without this subject. It is not always easy to list out the most influential people in mathematics. Here, we’ll talk about a few of them who revolutionized the world of science and technology.
1. Euclid of Alexandria
Euclid is renowned in the world of mathematics as the founder of geometry. He was a mathematician from Greece who had a great influence on the later generations of mathematicians and scientists. One of them was Isaac Newton. Among his prominent works is Euclid’s Elements, which is a compilation of 13 books.
Many consider them to be among the most influential and oldest books in this field. The focal point in this compilation of mathematical books is geometry. A comprehensive introduction of the Elementary Number Theory is also presented in Euclid’s Elements.
2. Pythagoras of Samos
Born during 6th century BC, he came up with several mathematical findings. Although the authenticity of most of these works remain debatable, he influenced some of the greatest philosophers. Among them were Aristotle, Plato, Isaac Newton, and Johannes Kepler. The most famous of his works is the Pythagoras Theorem.
Many historians have stated that the Babylonians were aware of this theorem well before his time. Pythagoras might’ve also been instrumental in the discovery of the Theory of Proportions. As with many of the great ancient Greek figures, not much is known about Pythagoras’s early life.
A polymath well-versed in mathematics, astronomy, and physics, Archimedes was born during the 3rd century BC. He was among the pioneers of geometry. Unfortunately, many of his documented works didn’t survive. He had derived several formulas for determining the surface area and volume of a sphere.
Archimedes also derived formula for determining the area of a circle. No one could challenge the method he had come up with for determining the value of pi. Even today, his way of calculating the circumference of a circle is in use.
4. Isaac Newton
The most remarkable among Newton’s contributions to the field of mathematics is calculus. During those times, it was popular as ‘infinitesimals’. Sir Isaac Newton is famous for being one of the founders of classical mechanics. Until Einstein’s theory of relativity became known to the world, his views on gravity were accepted universally.
His works on optics were instrumental in the development of the first-ever refracting telescope. Newton also helped in validating Kepler’s laws of planetary motion and explained the reason behind Earth’s tidal disturbances.
5. Srinivasa Ramanujan
By the time he was 16, Ramanujan could study Bernoulli numbers. He had developed them on his own. Although he had no formal training in mathematics, his mathematical knowledge was highly advanced. Many were awestruck by his mathematical abilities at such a young age.
He was modern India’s most remarkable mathematician and gained international fame. Much of it came after a prominent British mathematician called G.H. Hardy recognized his works. Hardy had also compared him with Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi and Leonhard Euler.