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Euclid


Date: 8/23/96 at 10:0:24
From: Anonymous
Subject: Euclid as Father of Mathematics

Who is considered the father of mathematics?


Date: 8/23/96 at 16:9:29
From: Doctor Mike
Subject: Euclid as Father of Mathematics

Hello,
 
There will be many opinions about this question!  A lot of people 
would go for the co-inventors of Calculus, Newton and Leibniz, but I 
have the utmost respect for Euclid because of the long-lasting deep 
effect of his mind not only on math but also on the development of 
human thought over thousands of years. 

I will attach a summary I found on the Internet that captures pretty 
well why mathematicians are so impressed by this "father" from so 
long ago.
  
I hope this helps.  Write again if you have more questions.

SUMMARY:

Euclid of Alexandria
Born: about 365 BC in Alexandria, Egypt
Died: about 300 BC
  
Euclid is the most prominent mathematician of antiquity; best known 
for his treatise on geometry, "The Elements". The long lasting
nature of The Elements must make Euclid the leading mathematics 
teacher of all time.
  
Little is known of Euclid's life except that he taught at Alexandria 
in Egypt.
  
Euclid's most famous work is his treatise on geometry, "The Elements". 
The book was a compilation of geometrical knowledge that became the 
centre of mathematical teaching for 2000 years. Probably no results in 
The Elements were first proved by Euclid but the organisation of the 
material and its exposition are certainly credited to him.
  
The Elements begins with definitions and axioms, including the famous 
fifth or parallel postulate that one and only one line can be drawn 
through a point parallel to a given line. Euclid's decision to make 
this an axiom led to Euclidean geometry. It was not until the 19th 
century that this axiom was dropped and non-euclidean geometries were 
studied.
  
Zeno of Sidon, about 250 years after Euclid wrote The Elements, seems 
to have been the first to show that Euclid's propositions were not 
deduced from the axioms alone, and Euclid does make other subtle 
assumptions.
  
The Elements is divided into 13 books: Books 1-6, plane geometry; 
books 7-9, number theory; book 10, Eudoxus's theory of irrational 
numbers; books 11-13, solid geometry. The book ends with a discussion 
of the properties of the five regular polyhedra and a proof that there 
are precisely five. Euclid's Elements is remarkable for the clarity 
with which the theorems are stated and proved. The standard of rigour 
was to become a goal for the inventors of calculus centuries later.
  
More than one thousand editions of The Elements have been published 
since it was first printed in 1482.

Euclid also wrote Data (with 94 propositions), On Divisions, Optics 
and Phaenomena which have survived. His other books, Surface Loci, 
Porisms, Conics, Book of Fallacies and Elements of Music, have all 
been lost.
  
Euclid may not have been a first class mathematician but the long 
lasting nature of The Elements must make him the leading mathematics 
teacher of antiquity.

FROM:

http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Euclid.html   

-Doctor Mike,  The Math Forum
 Check out our web site!  http://mathforum.org/dr.math/   
    
Associated Topics:
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