As promised in my last post (link here) here are the other mathematicians we have celebrated in October. Thank you for your support during this event! It means a lot to me.
1. Pierre François Verhulst born on 28th October 1804 was a mathematician and a doctor in number theory. Verhulst published in 1838 an equation, whose solutions he called the logistic function, and the equation is now called the logistic equation.
A typical application of the logistic equation is a common model of population growth, where the rate of reproduction is proportional to both the existing population and the amount of available resources, all else being equal. The Verhulst equation was published after Verhulst had read Thomas Malthus’ An Essay on the Principle of Population. Verhulst derived his logistic equation to describe the self-limiting growth of a biological population. The equation is also sometimes called the Verhulst-Pearl equation following its rediscovery in 1920. Alfred J. Lotka derived the equation again in 1925, calling it the law of population growth.
2. Martin Folkes born on 29th October 1690 was English antiquary, numismatist mathematician, and astronomer.
He so distinguished himself in mathematics that when only twenty-three years of age he was chosen a fellow of the Royal Society. He was elected one of the council in 1716, and in 1723 Sir Isaac Newton, president of the society, appointed him one of the vice-presidents.
In 1733 he set out on a tour through Italy, in the course of which he composed his “Dissertations on the weights and Values of Ancient Coins”. Before the Society of Antiquaries, of which he was president from 1749 to 1754, he read in 1736 his” Observations on the Trajan and Antonine Pillars” at Rome and his “Table of English Gold Coins from the 18th Year of King Edward III”.
3. Daniel Julius Bernstein (sometimes known simply as djb) born on 29th October 1971 is a mathematician, cryptologist, programmer, and professor of mathematics and computer science at the Eindhoven University of Technology and research professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Bernstein has published a number of papers in mathematics and computation. Many of his papers deal with algorithms or implementations. In algebraic geometry, he introduced in 2007 Twisted Edwards curves that are plane models of elliptic curves, a generalization of Edwards curves.
4. Karl Theodor Wilhelm Weierstrass born on 31st October 1815 was a German mathematician often cited as the “father of modern analysis”. Despite leaving university without a degree, he studied mathematics and trained as a teacher, eventually teaching mathematics, physics, botany and gymnastics.Weierstrass formalized the definition of the continuity of a function, and used it and the concept of uniform convergence to prove the Bolzano–Weierstrass theorem and Heine–Borel theorem.
5. Abraham Wald born on 31st October 1902 was a mathematician born in Cluj, in the then Austria–Hungary (present-day Romania) who contributed to decision theory, geometry, and econometrics, and founded the field of statistical sequential analysis. He spent his researching years at Columbia University.
Wald applied his statistical skills in World War II to the problem of bomber losses to enemy fire. A study had been made of the damage to returning aircraft and it had been proposed that armor be added to those areas that showed the most damage. Wald’s unique insight was that the holes from flak and bullets on the bombers that did return represented the areas where they were able to take damage. The data showed that there were similar patches on each returning bomber where there was no damage from enemy fire, leading Wald to conclude that these patches were the weak spots that led to the loss of a plane if hit, and that must be reinforced. This is still considered today seminal work in the then-fledgling discipline of operational research.
6. Father Magnus J. Wenninger born on 31st October 1919 is a mathematician who works on constructing polyhedron models, and wrote the first book on their construction.
Wenninger’s first publication on the topic of polyhedra was the booklet entitled, “Polyhedron Models for the Classroom”, which he wrote in 1966. He wrote to H. S. M. Coxeter and received a copy of Uniform polyhedra which had a complete list of all 75 uniform polyhedra. After this, he spent a great deal of time building various polyhedra. He made 65 of them and had them on display in his classroom. At this point, Wenninger decided to contact a publisher to see if there was any interest in a book. He had the models photographed and wrote the accompanying text, which he sent of to Cambridge University Press in London. The publishers indicated an interest in the book only if Wenninger built all 75 of the uniform polyhedra. Wenninger did complete the models, with the help of R. Buckley of Oxford University who had done the calculations for the snub forms by computer. This allowed Wenninger to build these difficult polyhedra with the exact measurements for lengths of the edges and shapes of the faces. This was the first time that all of the uniform polyhedra had been made as paper models. This project took Wenninger nearly ten years, and the book, Polyhedron Models, was published by the Cambridge University Press in 1971, largely due to the exceptional photographs taken locally in Nassau.
7. Ronald (Ron) Lewis Graham born on 31st October 1935 is a mathematician credited by the American Mathematical Society as being “one of the principal architects of the rapid development worldwide of discrete mathematics in recent years”. He has done important work in scheduling theory, computational geometry, Ramsey theory, and quasi-randomness.
And these are all the mathematicians. Thank you again for your support! Hope you liked this post, and if you would like to know more email me at LThMathematics@gmail.com
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