Sunday, January 30, 2011

The extravagant burial of super-star Leibniz.

"Although today we recognize his contributions to be of outstanding importance, he died essentially neglected, and only his secretary attended his burial." (

Another interesting tidbit, the crucial importance of a mentor:
"In 1672 Leibniz was sent to Paris on a diplomatic mission, beginning a crucially formative four-year period there. Christian Huygens (1629–1695), from Holland, then the leading mathematician and natural philosopher in Europe, guided Leibniz in educating himself in higher mathematics, and Leibniz’s progress was extraordinary"

Feels like the equivalent of a one on one MsC in higher mathematics.

Yet another interesting piece of information, which underlines how everything is so simplified and post rationalized in a way that a lot of useful information is lost, is the fact that the now 'obvious' 'Fundemental Theoreom of Calculus' originally came from a publication by Leibniz (ignoring the Leibniz/Newton debate) called "Supplementum geometriae dimensoriae, seu generalissima omnium tetragonismorum effectio per motum: similiterque multiplex constructio lineae ex data tangentium conditione " or in English "More on geometric measurement, or
most generally of all practicing of quadrilateralization through motion: likewise many ways to construct a curve from a given condition on its tangents" publish in the scientific journal "Acta Eruditorum"

Yes, he called it 'a supplement' ... please teach the history of math!

Which brings me to the find of the month: is a project that has a mission statement this is SO much in line with our attitude towards mathematics, and they even have books, stumbled upon it while reading about Leibniz.

Mission statement: "Our journey towards utilizing original texts as the primary object of study in undergraduate and graduate courses began at the senior undergraduate level. In 1987 we read William Dunham's ..."

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