Monday, May 3, 2010

Great Mathematicians' Names

These mathematicians are great and they have great names! Let me introduce you to:

Fibonacci: 1170-1240 (approx). The Fibonacci sequence, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, is a series that appears with mysterious frequency in nature.   Each number after the first two are obtained by adding the preceding two numbers together. The spirals formed by the centers of daisies pine cone scales and leaves, follow the Fibonacci sequence. Hmmmmm.
Charles Babbage: December 26, 1791 - October 18, 1871.  Babbage was looking for a cheap and accurate method of producing tables to replace those laborious instruments put together by hand using the human noggin.   In 1822 he built a small hand-cranked machine "that could compile and print astronomical and logarithmic tables to an accuracy of six decimal places". Genius? Definitely. Father of computing?  Sounds like it.

AND...  Norbert Wiener: November 26, 1894 - March 18, 1964. He worked up a "mathematical description of the flow of information".  Guess what this is called?  Besides information theory. Cybernetics!  Way back in the 60's!   So he had that going for him plus the best name ever for a mathematician.  Or anyone else, really.

Source:  Biography Resource Center.  To read more, select Biography Resource Center; input your Des Moines Public Library card number and PIN then do a search for the mathematician of your choice!

No comments: