EuclidDate: 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/ |
Search the Dr. Math Library: |
[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]
Ask Dr. Math^{TM}
© 1994- The Math Forum at NCTM. All rights reserved.
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/