The Math Forum

Mathematicians and Scientists Treasure Hunt

Adapted by Suzanne Alejandre from a lesson by Eldred Marshall


Match the contribution as stated in the Fact column to the name of the mathematician/scientist listed in the Person column. Use the links provided to the Internet to find the answers.

NOTE: All of the answers appear in the Person column but they are not in the correct order!



  1. Designed the first English-language data-processing compiler and coined the term "bug" for a computer fault.
  2. Collaborating with Babbage, wrote the first "computer program" and anticipated the computer by 100 years.
  3. Invented toilet system for railroad cars and electric lamp. Published book that became guide for lighting engineers.
  4. First person to study determinants (10 years before Leibniz) and discovered Bernoulli's numbers before Bernoulli.
  5. Became wealthy publishing almanacs in the United States and Europe.
  6. First woman to receive a doctorate in any field in Germany. Collaborated with her husband in writing 220 math articles and several books. Wrote a paper on the foundations of calculus that won the Gamble Prize at Cambridge in 1915.
  7. Prolific inventor who invented 15 appliances for electric railways and was awarded more than 60 patents.
  8. Developed many industrial applications from agricultural products.
  9. One of the first African-American females to get a doctorate in math. Worked on N.A.S.A.'s Apollo program.
  10. First known female mathematician. Edited Apollonius' book on conic sections and made them easier to understand.
  11. Invented the lasting machine, a machine that mass produces shoes.
  12. Significant contributions to the fields of vibration and sound, musical instruments, ultrasonics, diffraction, optics, and magnetism. First Asian to be awarded the Nobel prize.
  13. Wrote Analytical Institutions, the first and most complete work on mathematical analysis.
  14. Discovered Pascal's triangle and binomial expansion before Pascal.
  15. Wrote astronomical books in the 19th century and became one of the first women elected to the Royal Astronomical Society.
  16. Invented gas mask, traffic signal, and de-curling comb.
  17. Arab mathematician who wrote book that described the Hindu system of decimal notation through which the decimal system was introduced into Europe.
  18. Developed the theory for an unsymmetrical body where the center of its mass is not on an axis in the body.
  19. Made major contributions on the physiology of development.
  20. Wrote Institutions of Physics, a book explaining Leibniz' theory on integral calculus and translated into French and commented on Newton's theory of differential calculus.
  21. Best known for her work on number theory and theory of elasticity.
  22. Pioneered process for transfusing blood plasma and organizing the concept of a blood bank.
  23. Contributed to spherical trigonometry and navigation writing. Wrote Treatise on a Sphere.
  24. Contributed to abstract algebra, with special attention to rings, groups, and fields.
  25. Contributed to non-Euclidean geometry.

Ernest Just

Seki Kowa

Granville T. Woods

George Washington Carver

Ada Byron Lovelace

Lewis Howard Latimer

Benjamin Banneker

Grace Chisholm Young

Evelyn Boyd Granville

Janos Bolyai

Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman

Maria Agnesi

Emmy Noether

Chu Shih-Chieh

Jan Ernst Matzeliger

Mary Fairfax Somerville

Pedro Nunes

Garrett Morgan

Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Musa al'Khwarizmi

Hypatia or Hypatia

Gabrielle Emilie du Chatelet

Sophie Germain

Grace Hopper

Charles Richard Drew

Sonya Kovalevsky

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