Tuesday, 16 September 2014

On This Day in Math - September 16

...[T]o many it is not knowledge but the quest for knowledge that gives greater interest to thought—to travel hopefully is better than to arrive

~Sir James Jeans

The 259th day of the year;259 expressed in base six is a repunit, 1111 (1x63+1x62+ 1x61+1x60= 216+36+6+1=259)
and for my ex-students from Japan, 259  is The number of Pokémon originally available in Pokémon Gold and Silver

1566 Tycho Brahe departs Wittenberg to avoid the plague. Early In 1566 he left Denmark and arrived at Wittenberg on the 15th of April. The University of Wittenberg had been founded in 1502, and had then for nearly fifty years been one of the most renowned in Europe. He Studied under Caspar Peucer, distinguished as a mathematician, a physician, and a historian. Tycho, however, did not profit very much from Peucer's instruction, as the plague broke out at Wittenberg, so that he was induced to leave it on the 16th September, after a stay of only five months. *TYCHO BRAHE, A PICTURE OF SCIENTIFIC LIFE AND WORK IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY BY J. L. E. DREYER
(When I checked, the kindle book was under a dollar)

In 1662, the first recorded astronomical observation by the (to become) first Astronomer Royal was John Flamsteed's observation of a solar eclipse from his home in Derby at the age of sixteen, about which he corresponded with other astronomers. Flamsteed's interest in astronomy was stirred by the solar eclipse, and besides reading all he could find on the subject he attempted to make his own measuring instruments. *TIS

1693 In a letter to John Locke, Newton apologized for ill thoughts that he had harbored against Locke. *VFR Locke was strongly denounced by several writers and even called an atheist, notably by John Edwards, but such charges were commonplace against every departure from Orthodoxy. During his period of insanity (following 1693) Isaac Newton made similar charges against Locke; at least he wrote Locke a strange letter apologizing for considering him a Hobbist and having charged him with attacking the root of morality,*Contra Mundum, No. 1 Fall 1991, "At the Origins of English Rationalism", by T.E. Wilder (Locke and Newton were usually friends)

1787 Jefferson writes his ex law professor, George Wythe in regard to the construction of geometric models in the classroom. (Jefferson sep16.pdf) Wythe is considered one of the finest jurists of the period, and had Jefferson, Monroe, and John Marshall as students.
"I have reflected on your idea of wooden or ivory diagrams for the geometrical demonstrations. I should think wood as good as ivory; & that in this case it might add to the improvement of the young gentlemen; that they should make the figures themselves. Being furnished by a workman with a piece of veneer, no other tool than a penknife & a wooden rule would be necessary. Perhaps pasteboards, or common cards might be still more convenient. The difficulty is, how to reconcile figures which must have a very sensible breadth, to our ideas of a mathematical line, which, having neither breadth nor thickness, will revolt more at these than at simple lines drawn on paper or slate. If after reflecting on this proposition you would prefer having them made here, lay your commands on me and they shall be executed."
This is a full 100 years before Kline brought his models to America and influenced their use in American education.

1804 J L Gay-Lussac sets height record of 22,000+ feet during balloon lift to make measurements of magnetism and electricity.

In 1835, British naturalist Charles Darwin, aboard the ship HMS Beagle, arrived at the Galapagos archipelago, a cluster of islands on the equator 600 miles west of South America. During his five weeks studying the fauna in the Galapagos, Darwin found the giant tortoises there greatly differed from one another according to which island they came from. Moreover, many islands developed their own races of iguanas. These observations contributed to his theory of “natural selection,” that species evolved over thousands of millions of years. *TIS

1848 Weierstrass came to the Catholic Gymnasium in Braunsberg, his third such position. That year he taught mathematics 19 hours per week, took over the geography class after Easter, and received a special note of thanks for helping out in gym! [From the annual report of the Gymnasium in the University of Louisville’s Bullitt Collection of Mathematics. *VFR

1895 Pierson writes to Yule, "I had a most kindly and encouraging letter from Francis Galton about my Heredity paper. He really is a fine old fellow to take my modification of his views so well." *The History of Statistics: The Measurement of Uncertainty Before 1900
By Stephen M. Stigler

1986 “Four out of three jocks can’t count,” read a headline in The Harvard Lampoon’s parody of USA Today. *VFR


1494 Francisco Maurolico(September 16, 1494-July 21 or July 22, 1575) was an Italian Benedictine who wrote important books on Greek mathematics. He also worked on geometry, the theory of numbers, optics, conics and mechanics.*SAU (His Arithmeticorum libri duo (1575) includes the first known proof by mathematical induction. He proved that the sum of the first n odd numbers is equal to n2 .) Maurolico's astronomical observations include a sighting of the supernova that appeared in Cassiopeia in 1572. Tycho Brahe published details of his observations in 1574; the supernova is now known as Tycho's Supernova.*Wik

1736 Johannes Nikolaus Tetens (16 Sep 1736; 17 Aug 1807) German natural philosopher whose empirical approach strongly influenced the work of Immanuel Kant, and later in his life, Tetens became interested in mathematics, especially in actuarial applications. From 1760, as a teacher of natural philosophy he wrote on diverse topics but later began the development of the field of developmental psychology in Germany. He wrote Philosophische Versuche über die menschliche Natur und ihre Entwickelung (1777) on the origin and structure of knowledge. He changed career after 1789 to the civil service during which time he pursued mathematics. As a statistician he produced an Introduction to the Calculation of Life Annuities (1785) and On the Tetens Mortality Curve (1785)*TIS

1804 Squire Whipple (16 Sep 1804; 15 Mar 1888) U.S. civil engineer, inventor, and theoretician who provided the first scientifically based rules for bridge construction, was considered one of the top engineers of the 19th Century, and was known as the "father of iron bridges." He began his career as a bridge-builder in 1840 by designing and patenting an iron-bridge truss. During the next ten years he built several bridges on the Erie canal and the New York and Erie railroad. His design of the Whipple truss bridge was the model for hundreds of bridges that crossed the Erie Canal in the late 19-th century. Before developing his design, Whipple worked for several years on surveys, estimates, and reports for the enlargement of the Erie Canal, and in 1840 he patented a scale for weighing canal boats. He later built the first weighing lock scale constructed on the Erie Canal. The invention of the steam engine required bridges which could support heavy live loads and this motivated Squire to turn his attention to bridges. In 1853, he completed a 146-ft span iron railroad bridge near West Troy (now Watervliet), N.Y. His book on the design of bridges using scientific methods (1847) was the first of its kind. The formulas and his methods are still useful. He obtained a patent for his lift draw-bridge in 1872.*TIS

Ennackal Chandy George Sudarshan (also known as E. C. G. Sudarshan) (16 September 1931 - ) is a prominent Indian-American physicist, author and professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Sudarshan has made significant contributions to several areas of physics. He was the originator (with Robert Marshak) of the V-A theory of the weak force (also done later by Richard Feynman and Murray Gell-Mann), which eventually paved the way for the electroweak theory. Feynman said in 1963: "The V-A theory that was discovered by Sudarshan and Marshak, publicized by Feynman and Gell-Mann".
He also developed a quantum representation of coherent light (for which Glauber was awarded the 2005 Nobel). *Wik


1736 Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit (24 May 1686, 16 Sep 1736) was a German-Dutch physicist and instrument maker (meteorological). He lived in Holland for most of his life. He invented the alcohol thermometer (1709) and mercury thermometer (1714) and developed the Fahrenheit temperature scale. For the zero of his scale he used the temperature of an equal ice-salt mixture; 30° for the freezing point of water; and 90° for normal body temperature. Later, he adjusted to 32° for the freezing point of water and 212° for the boiling point of water, the interval between the two being divided into 180 parts. He also invented a hygrometer to measure relative humidity and experimented with other liquids discovering that each liquid had a different boiling point that would change with atmospheric pressure.*TIS

1925 Alexander Alexandrovich Friedmann (16 Jun 1888, 16 Sep 1925) Russian mathematician who was the first to work out a mathematical analysis of an expanding universe consistent with general relativity, yet without Einstein's cosmological constant. In 1922, he developed solutions to the field equations, one of which clearly described a universe that began from a point singularity, and expanded thereafter. In his article On the Curvature of Space received by the journal Zeitschrift für Physik on 29 Jun 1922, he showed that the radius of curvature of the universe can be either an increasing or a periodic function of time. In Jul 1925, he made a record-breaking 7400-m balloon ascent to make meteorological and medical observations. A few weeks later he fell ill and died of typhus. *TIS

1931 Niels Nielsen (2 Dec 1865 , 16 Sept 1931) was a Danish mathematician who worked on special functions and number theory. *SAU (He also wrote two mathematical histories, one for France, and one for Denmark)

1932 Sir Ronald Ross (born 13 May 1857, 16 Sep 1932) English physician, bacteriologist and mathematician whose discovery of the malarial parasite in the gastrointestinal tract of the Anopheles mosquito led to the realization that malaria was transmitted by Anopheles. For this work, he was awarded the 1902 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, becoming the first British Nobelist. He began studying malaria in 1892. In 1894 he made an experimental investigation in India of the hypothesis of Alphonse Laveran and Patrick Manson that mosquitoes are connected with the propagation of the disease. After two and a half years' failure, Ross succeeded in demonstrating the life-cycle of the parasites of malaria in mosquitoes, thus establishing the hypothesis of Laveran and Manson. Later, in West Africa he found the species of mosquitoes which convey the deadly African fever.*TIS (He is most remembered for his work on malaria, but his greatest influence may have come from his development and publishing of a mathematical theory of epidemiology.)

1946 Sir James Hopwood Jeans (11 Sep 1877, 16 Sep 1946)was an English physicist, astronomer, and mathematician who was the first to propose that matter is continuously created throughout the universe. He made other innovations in astronomical theory but is perhaps best known as a writer of popular books about astronomy. *TIS

1979 Marion Gray (26 March 1902, 16 Sept 1979) graduated from Edinburgh University and then went to Bryn Mawr College in the USA. She completed her doctorate there and returned to posts at Edinburgh and Imperial College London. She returned to the USA and worked for AT&T for the rest of her career. The Gray graph is named after her.*SAU The Gray graph is an undirected bipartite graph with 54 vertices and 81 edges. It is a cubic graph: every vertex touches exactly three edges. The Gray graph is interesting as the first known example of a cubic graph having the algebraic property of being edge but not vertex transitive *Wik

1989 Allen Shields (May 7, 1927 - September 16, 1989) worked on a wide range of mathematical topics including measure theory, complex functions, functional analysis and operator theory.
An interesting story from George Piranian, of how Shields was appointed to the University of Michigan.
In 1955, on the first day of the American Mathematical Society Summer Meeting in Ann Arbor, George [Piranian] asked Chairman T H Hildebrandt for leave of absence for the Winter Term of 1956. Immediately Hildebrandt declared that he could not grant the request unless George found a replacement. On his way from Hildebrandt's office to one of the lecture sessions, George ran into Allen Shields, whom a year earlier he had met at the Summer Meeting at Laramie. Allen was cooperative, and George dashed back to report that he had found a substitute and that, after fifteen more minutes the substitute would present a ten-minute paper. ... Young as he was, Allen had already mastered the art of beginning his blackboard work in the upper left-hand corner and ending neatly at the lower right, with one minute to spare. Hildebrandt was so impressed that on the spot he offered Allen a one-term appointment. Later, the department persuaded both Shields and Hildebrandt to extend the arrangement.
Soon after George Piranian returned from his leave, he began working with Shields and they published the joint paper The sets of Luzin points of analytic functions (1957). 

2005 Gordon Gould (17 Jul 1920, 16 Sep 2005) American physicist who coined the word "laser" from the initial letters of "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation." Gould was inspired from his youth to be an inventor, wishing to emulate Marconi, Bell, and Edison. He contributed to the WWII Manhattan Project, working on the separation of uranium isotopes. On 9 Nov 1957, during a sleepless Saturday night, he had the inventor's inspiration and began to write down the principles of what he called a laser in his notebook. Although Charles Townes and Arthur Schawlow, also successfully developed the laser, eventually Gould gained his long-denied patent rights. *TIS

Credits :
*CHM=Computer History Museum
*FFF=Kane, Famous First Facts
*NSEC= NASA Solar Eclipse Calendar
*RMAT= The Renaissance Mathematicus, Thony Christie
*SAU=St Andrews Univ. Math History
*TIA = Today in Astronomy
*TIS= Today in Science History
*VFR = V Frederick Rickey, USMA
*Wik = Wikipedia
*WM = Women of Mathematics, Grinstein & Campbell

Monday, 15 September 2014

On This Day in Math - September 15

Once a sage asked why scholars always flock to the doors of the rich, whilst the rich are not inclined to call at the doors of scholars. "The scholars" he answered , "are well aware of the use of money, but the rich are ignorant of the nobility of science".

The 258th day of the year; 258 is a sphenic(wedge) number (the product of three distinct prime factors..258 = 2·3·43) it is also the sum of four consecutive primes 243 = 59 + 61 + 67 + 71  (Jim Wilder@Wilderlab pointed out that 2,5,&8 are the numbers in the center column of a phone or calculator.)


1739 Euler, in a letter to Johann Bernoulli, begins the general treatment of the homogeneous linear differential equation with constant coefficients. *VFR  Within a year Euler had completed this treatment by successfully dealing with repeated quadratic factors and turned his attention to the non-homogeneous linear equation. *John E. Sasser, HISTORY OF ORDINARY DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS -THE FIRST HUNDRED YEARS

1749  Euler's interest in lotteries began at the latest in 1749 when he was commissioned by Frederick the Great to render an opinion on a proposed lottery that would be similar to the Lottery in Genoa. The first of two letters began 15 September 1749. A second series began on 17 August 1763. E812. Read before the Academy of Berlin 10 March 1763 but only published posthumously in 1862. "Reflexions sur une espese singulier de loterie nommée loterie genoise." Opera postuma I, 1862, p. 319–335. The paper determined the probability that a particular number be drawn. *Euler’s Correspondence Translated by Richard J. Pulskamp, Department of Mathematics & Computer Science, Xavier University,
Cincinnati, OH

1782 Lagrange, in a letter to Laplace, told of finishing his M´ecanique analytique. Legendre undertook the editing of the work for the press. *VFR

1788 Thomas Paine writes to Thomas Jefferson to discuss shapes for Iron Bridges:

Whether I shall set off a catenarian Arch or an Arch of a Circle I have not yet determined, but I mean to set off both and take my choice. There is one objection against a Catenarian Arch, which is, that the Iron tubes being all cast in one form will not exactly fit every part of it. An Arch of a Circle may be sett off to any extent by calculating the Ordinates, at equal distances on the diameter. In this case, the Radius will always be the Hypothenuse, the portion of the diameter be the Base, and the Ordinate the perpendicular or the Ordinate may be found by Trigonometry in which the Base, the Hypothenuse and right angle will be always given.,

Jefferson's reply of Dec 23, 1788 is cited by OED as the first use of "catenary".  *Jeff Miller

1846 George Boole, age 30, applied for a professorship at “any of her Majesty’s colleges, now in the course of being established in Ireland.” Although he had “never studied at a college” he had been a teacher for 15 years and was “familiar with the elementary and the practical as well as the higher Mathematics.” Although he was self taught, the testimonies of DeMorgan, Cayley, and William Thomson showed that he was an accomplished mathematician. In August 1849, he was appointed the first professor of mathematics at Queen’s College Cork. The reason for the long delay is unclear. *MacHale, George Boole, His Life and Work, pp. 75-84

1855 Sylvester commenced his duties as professor of mathematics and lecturer in natural philosophy at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and one of the richest research periods of his life began. [Osiris, 1(1936), 101] *VFR

1947 The world's oldest computing society, the Association for Computing Machinery, is founded. With more than 80,000 members today, ACM organizes conference and educational workshops to exchange information on technology.*CHM


973 Al-Biruni (15 Sept 973, 13 Dec 1048) is one of the major figures of Islamic mathematics. He contributed to astronomy, mathematics, physics, medicine and history. *SAU

1736 Jean-Sylvain Bailly (15 Sep 1736; 12 Nov 1793) French astronomer who computed an orbit for Halley's Comet (1759) and studied the four satellites of Jupiter then known. He was the first Mayor of Paris (1789-91). He was executed by guillotine in Paris during the French Revolution.*TIS
Bailly published his Essay on the theory of the satellites of Jupiter in 1766,a an expansion of a presentation he had made to the Academy in 1763. It was followed up in 1771 by a noteworthy dissertation, On the inequalities of light of the satellites of Jupiter.b and in 1778, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. *Wik

1852 Edward Bouchet (15 Sept 1852, New Haven, Conn – 28 Oct 1918, New Haven, Conn) was the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. in Physics from an American university and the first African-American to graduate from Yale University in 1874. He completed his dissertation in Yale's Ph.D. program in 1876 becoming the first African-American to receive a Ph.D. (in any subject). His area of study was Physics. Bouchet was also the first African-American to be elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Bouchet was also among 20 Americans (of any race) to receive a Ph.D. in physics and was the sixth to earn a Ph. D. in physics from Yale.
Edward Bouchet was born in New Haven, Connecticut. At that time there were only three schools in New Haven open to black children. Bouchet was enrolled in the Artisan Street Colored School with only one teacher, who nurtured Bouchet's academic abilities. He attended the New Haven High School from 1866–1868 and then Hopkins School from 1868-1870 where he was named valedictorian (after graduating first in his class).
Bouchet was unable to find a university teaching position after college, most likely due racial discrimination. Bouchet moved to Philadelphia in 1876 and took a position at the Institute for Colored Youth (ICY). He taught physics and chemistry at the ICY for 26 years. The ICY was later renamed Cheyney University. He resigned in 1902 at the height of the W. E. B. Du Bois-Booker T. Washington controversy over the need for an industrial vs. collegiate education for blacks.

Bouchet spent the next 14 years holding a variety of jobs around the country. Between 1905 and 1908, Bouchet was director of academics at St. Paul's Normal and Industrial School in Lawrenceville, Virginia (presently, St. Paul's College). He was then principal and teacher at Lincoln High School in Gallipolis, Ohio from 1908 to 1913. He joined the faculty of Bishop College in Marshall, Texas in 1913. Illness finally forced him to retire in 1916 and he moved back to New Haven. He died there, in his childhood home, in 1918, at age of 66. He had never married and had no children.*Wik

1883 Esteban Terrades i Illa (15 September 1883;Barcelona,-  9 May 1950,Madrid,) was a Spanish mathematician, scientist and engineer. He researched and taught widely in the fields of mathematics and the physical sciences, working not only in his native Catalonia, but also in the rest of Spain and in South America. He was also active as a consultant in the Spanish aeronautics, electric power, telephone and railway industries. *Wik

1886 Paul Pierre Lévy (15 Sep 1886; 15 Dec 1971) was a French mining engineer and mathematician. He contributed to probability, functional analysis, partial differential equations and series. He also studied geometry. In 1926 he extended Laplace transforms to broader function classes. He undertook a large-scale work on generalised differential equations in functional derivatives.*TIS

1894 Oskar Benjamin Klein (September 15, 1894 (or 1893?) – February 5, 1977) was a Swedish theoretical physicist. Klein retired as professor emeritus in 1962. He was awarded the Max Planck medal in 1959. He is credited for inventing the idea, part of Kaluza–Klein theory, that extra dimensions may be physically real but curled up and very small, an idea essential to string theory / M-theory. *Wik

1901 Luigi Fantappiè (15 September 1901 – 28 July 1956) was an Italian mathematician, known for work in mathematical analysis and for creating the theory of analytic functionals: he was a student and follower of Vito Volterra. Later in life he proposed scientific theories of sweeping scope.*Wik

1923 Georg Kreisel FRS (born September 15, 1923 in Graz) is an Austrian-born mathematical logician who has studied and worked in Great Britain and America. Kreisel came from a Jewish background; his family sent him to England before the Anschluss, where he studied mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge and then, during World War II, worked on military subjects. After the war he returned to Cambridge and received his doctorate. He taught at the University of Reading until 1954 and then worked at the Institute for Advanced Study from 1955 to 1957. Subsequently he taught at Stanford University and the University of Paris. Kreisel was appointed a professor at Stanford University in 1962 and remained on the faculty there until he retired in 1985.
Kreisel worked in various areas of logic, and especially in proof theory, where he is known for his so-called "unwinding" program, whose aim was to extract constructive content from superficially non-constructive proofs.*Wik

1926 Jean-Pierre Serre (15 September 1926 - ) born in Bages, France. In 1954 he received a Fields Medal for his work on the homotopy groups of spheres. He also reformulated some of the main results of complex variable theory in terms of sheaves. See International Mathematical Congresses. An Illustrated History, 1893–1986, edited by Donald J. Albers, G. L. Alexanderson and Constance Reid.

1929  Murray Gell-Mann (15 Sep 1929 -  ).  American theoretical physicist who predicted the existence of quarks. He was awarded the 1969 Nobel Prize for Physics for his contributions to particle physics. His first major contribution to high-energy physics was made in 1953, when he demonstrated how some puzzling features of hadrons (particles responsive to the strong force) could be explained by a new quantum number, which he called “strangeness”. In 1964, he (and Yuval Ne'eman) proposed the eightfold way to define the structure of particles. This led to Gell-Mann's postulate of the quark, a name he coined (from a word in James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake).*TIS


1883 Joseph Plateau (Bruxelles, 14 October 1801 – Ghent, 15 September 1883)  was a Belgian mathematician best known for Plateau's problem on surfaces of minimal area.*SAU He was the first person to demonstrate the illusion of a moving image. To do this he used counter rotating disks with repeating drawn images in small increments of motion on one and regularly spaced slits in the other. He called this device of 1832 the phenakistoscope. Plateau's laws describe the structure of soap films. Plateau's laws state:
Soap films are made of entire smooth surfaces.
The average curvature of a portion of a soap film is everywhere constant on any point on the same piece of soap film.
Soap films always meet in threes along an edge called a Plateau border, and they do so at an angle of cos−1(−1/2)  =  120 degrees.
These Plateau borders meet in fours at a vertex, and they do so at an angle of cos−1(−1/3) ≈ 109.47 degrees (the tetrahedral angle).
Configurations other than those of Plateau's laws are unstable and the film will quickly tend to rearrange itself to conform to these laws.
That these laws hold for minimal surfaces was proved mathematically using methods of geometric measure theory by Jean Taylor.*Wik

1898 William Seward Burroughs (born 28 Jan 1855, 5 Sep 1898) American inventor who invented the world's first commercially viable recording adding machine and pioneer of its manufacture. He was inspired by his experience in his beginning career as a bank clerk. On 10 Jan 1885 he submitted his first patent (issued 399,116 on 21 Aug 1888) for his mechanical “calculating machine.” Burroughs co-founded  the American Arithmometer Co in 1886 to develop and market the machine. The manufacture of the first machines was contracted out, and their durability was unsatisfactory. He continued to refine his design for accuracy and reliability, receiving more patents in 1892, and began selling the much-improved model for $475 each. By 1895, 284 machines had been sold, mostly to banks, and 1500 by 1900. The company later became Burroughs Corporation (1905) and eventually Unisys. *TIS

1962  William W(eber) Coblentz   (20 Nov 1873, 15 Sep 1962) was an American physicist and astronomer whose work lay primarily in infrared spectroscopy. In 1905 he founded the radiometry section of the National Bureau of Standards, which he headed for 40 years. Coblentz measured the infrared radiation from stars, planets, and nebulae and was the first to determine accurately the constants of blackbody radiation, thus confirming Planck's law.*TIS

Credits :
*CHM=Computer History Museum
*FFF=Kane, Famous First Facts
*NSEC= NASA Solar Eclipse Calendar
*RMAT= The Renaissance Mathematicus, Thony Christie
*SAU=St Andrews Univ. Math History
*TIA = Today in Astronomy
*TIS= Today in Science History
*VFR = V Frederick Rickey, USMA
*Wik = Wikipedia
*WM = Women of Mathematics, Grinstein & Campbell

Sunday, 14 September 2014

On This Day in Math - September 14

Mathematicians have tried in vain to this day to discover some order in the sequence of prime numbers, and we have reason to believe that it is a mystery into which the human mind will never penetrate.
~Leonhard Euler

The 257th day of the year; 257 is a prime number of the form 223+1 and therefore a Fermat prime. It is currently the second largest known Fermat prime.

2257 - 1 is the largest number in Mersenne's list of primes in the preface to his Cogitata Physica-Mathematica (1644), it later turned out to be Composite. * Dan Garbowitz ‏@DGoneseventh


1752 The first day of the Gregorian calendar in Britain and its colonies. The dates 3 to 13 September did not exist in England in 1752 due to the conversion to the Gregorian calendar. Poor Richard’s Almanac for 1752 carried the catchy heading, “September hath XIX days.” Much of Europe made the change in 1582, and since 1600 was a leap year under the Gregorian but not the Julian calendar, England had to omit eleven days, not ten. *VFR England and the American Colonies dropped the Roman era Julian Calendar, which had become 10 days out of synchrony with the solar cycle, and adopted the Gregorian Calendar. People rioted in the streets thinking the government stole 11 days of their lives. Instituted by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, the calendar has 365 days with an extra day every four years (the leap year) except in years divisible by 100 but not divisible by 400. Thus, the calendar year has an average length of 365.2422 days. It moved the day's date up from September 3rd to September 14th. Some other countries, including Russia, did not change until the twentieth century.*TIS
In 1755 William Hogarth’s satirical print, “An Election Entertainment,” was published. It contains a Tory sign bearing the inscription “Give us our eleven days.” (out the window)

1792 In a letter from Bernardino Ferrari to Sebastiano Canterzani describes the interest created by Galvani's "Frog" experiment. Writing from Milan he said "Now here the experiments are also repeated in ladies’ salons, and they furnish a good spectacle to all. " *Walter Bernardi, The Controversy on Animal Electricity (web post)

1814 Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Actually he wrote a poem called "Defence of Fort McHenry" . The Poem was written by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British Royal Navy ships in Chesapeake Bay during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812. The tune was actually a popular British tune written for a mens social club in London which had become popular in the US too. It became the official National Anthem on March 3, 1931 when President Hoover signed a Congressional resolution to that effect. Mathematics??? umm, OK, the song has a range of 1 1/2 octaves, so the highest note has a frequency that is the square root of eight times the lowest note. *wik (by the way all you patriotic types, sing the second verse)

1959 Bank of America accepts the ERMA (Electronic Recording Method of Accounting) system. This revolutionary system digitized checking for the Bank of America by creating a computer-readable font. A special scanner read account numbers preprinted on checks in magnetic ink. The system was developed at the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, California.*CHM

1959 Life Magazine cover story is picture of the first seven Nasa Astronauts.

1648 Caspar (or Kaspar) Neumann (14 September 1648 – 27 January 1715) was a German professor and clergyman from Breslau with a special interest in mortality rates.
He first did an apprenticeship as a pharmacist. He finished his higher school education at Breslau's Maria-Magdalen grammar school. In 1667 he became a student of theology at the university of Jena, and on Nov. 30, 1673 was ordained as a priest, having been requested as a traveling chaplain for Prince Christian, the son of Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha. On his return home, following a two-year journey through west­ern Ger­ma­ny, Switz­er­land, north­ern It­a­ly, and south­ern France, he became a court-chaplain at Altenburg, and married the daughter of J. J. Rabe, physician in ordinary to the prince of Saxe-Friedenstein. In 1678 he was made the deacon of St. Maria-Magdalen in Breslau and became pastor in 1689. *Wik He was a student of Erhard Weigel

1713 Johann Kies (September 14, 1713—July 29, 1781) a German astronomer and mathematician. Born in Tübingen, Kies worked in Berlin in 1751 alongside Jérôme Lalande in order to make observations on the lunar parallax in concert with those of Nicolas Louis de Lacaille at the Cape of Good Hope.
From 1742 to 1754, at the recommendation of the mathematician Leonhard Euler, he was made professor of mathematics at Berlin's Academy of Sciences and astronomer at its observatory.
He subsequently taught also at the Collegium of Tübingen. From 1754 to 1755, Kies served as director of the Astronomisches Rechen-Institut in Heidelberg.
Kies was one of the first to propagate Newton's discoveries in Germany, and dedicated two of his works to the Englishman: De viribus centralibus (Tübingen, 1758) and De lege gravitatis (Tübingen, 1773). Kies is also the author of a work on lunar influences: De influxu lunae in partes terrae mobiles (Tübingen, 1769). He wrote many other works, both in French and in Latin, on astronomy.
Kies corresponded with Euler from 1747 to 1767. Their correspondence consists of 8 letters, all of which were written by Kies.
The crater Kies on the Moon is named in his honor. *TIA

1769 (Baron) Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt (14 Sep 1769; 6 May 1859) was a German natural scientist, archeologist, explorer and geographer, who made two major expeditions to Latin America (1799-1804) and to Asia (1829). During the first, equipped with the best scientific instruments, he surveyed and collected geological, zoological, botanical, and ethnographic specimens, including over 60,000 rare or new tropical plants. He charted and made observations on a cold ocean current along the Peruvian coast, now named, the Humboldt Current. In geology, he made pioneering observations of stratigraphy, structure and geomorphology; he understood the connections between volcanism and earthquakes. Humboldt named the Jurassic System. *TIS

1837 Nicolai Vasilievich Bugaev (14 Sept 1837 , 11 June 1903) His research was mainly on analysis and number theory. Bugaev gave proofs of theorems stated without proof by Liouville. He wrote on algebraic integrals of certain differential equations. His work in Moscow was to lead to the creation of the Moscow school of the theory of functions of a real variable in 1911, eight years after his death by Egorov, one of his students. Sonin was another of Bugaev's pupils who went on to make a major contribution to mathematics.
Bugaev's most important work in number theory was based on an analogy between some operations in number theory and the operations such as differentiation and integration in analysis. Bugaev built a systematic theory of discontinuous functions which he called arithmology. *SAU

1858 Henry Burchard Fine (September 14, 1858 – December 22, 1928) born in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. After earning his Ph.D. in Germany he joined the Princeton faculty. He is responsible for building that department into a world class mathematics department. The mathematics building at Princeton is named in his honor.*VFR (Fine Hall is the tallest building on the campus)

1887 Karl Taylor Compton (14 Sep 1887; 22 Jun 1954) American educator and physicist who directed development of radar during WW II. His research included the passage of photoelectrons through metals, ionization and the motion of electrons in gases, fluorescence, the theory of the electric arc, and collisions of electrons and atoms. In 1933, President Roosevelt asked him to chair the new Scientific Advisory Board. When the National Defense Research Committee was formed in 1940, he was chief of Division D (detection: radar, fire control, etc.) In 1941, he was in charge of those divisions concerned with radar within the new Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD). Afterwards he was cited for personally shortening the duration of the war. (Brother of Arthur H. Compton, American Physicist and Nobel Laureate.)*TIS

1891 Ivan Matveevich Vinogradov (14 Sept 1891 , 20 March 1983) Vinogradov used trigonometric series to attack deep problems in analytic number theory.*SAU

1906 Franz Rellich (September 14, 1906–September 25, 1955) was an Austrian-Italian mathematician. He made important contributions in mathematical physics, in particular for the foundations of quantum mechanics and for the theory of partial differential equations.*Wik

1914 Robert Sinclair Dietz (14 Sep 1914; 19 May 1995) was an American geophysicist and oceanographer who set forth a theory (1961) of seafloor spreading (a term he coined), in which new crustal material continually upwells from the Earth's depths along the mid-ocean ridges and spreads outward at a rate of several inches per year. While a student Dietz identified the Kentland structure in Indiana as a meteoric impact site. His professors steered him toward marine geology. He became the founder and director of the Sea Floor Studies Section at the Naval Electronics Laboratory (1946-1963). He also achieved prominence by studying meteorite craters, both on Earth and on the moon and arguing that these impact craters were common. He died of a heart attack.*TIS

1926 Hans-Joachim Bremermann​ (26 October, 1934 in Berlin - ) was a German-American mathematician and biophysicist. He worked on computer science and evolution, introducing new ideas of how mating generates new gene combinations. Bremermann's limit, named after him, is the maximum computational speed of a self-contained system in the material universe.*Wik


1638 Pierre Vernier (19 Aug 1584, 14 Sep 1638) French mathematician who developed the vernier scale, which enabled instruments to make more accurate linear or angular measurements. He first described it in a work entitled La construction, l'usage et les propriétés du cadran nouveau (1631)*. It consists of a small graduated scale or arc made to slide along a larger fixed scale or arc to enable determining the increment between two graduations of the larger scale. The ten divisions of the smaller, vernier scale are equal to nine of the fixed scale. For example, calipers with a larger scale graduated in tenths of inches can be read by use of the vernier scale to within one-hundredths of an inch. Vernier scales are also used on sextants and mercury
column barometers.*TIS
The vernier scale was invented in its modern form in 1631 by Vernier), but its use was described in detail in English in Navigatio Britannica (1750) by John Barrow, the mathematician and historian. In some languages, this device is called a nonius. It was also commonly called a nonius in English until the end of the 18th century. Nonius is the Latin name of the Portuguese astronomer and mathematician Pedro Nunes (1502–1578) who in 1542 invented a related but different system for taking fine measurements on the astrolabe (nonius) that was a precursor to the vernier. The French astronomer Jérôme Lalande (1732-1807) popularized the name of the instrument as a "vernier" in his book on astronomy (1764) *Wik

1712 Giovanni Domenico Cassini (8 Jun 1625, 14 Sep 1712) Italian-French astronomer who discovered (1675) the dark gap subdividing Saturn's rings into two parts, now known as Cassini's Division. He stated that Saturn's ring, believed by Huygens to be a single body, was actually composed of small particles. Cassini also discovered four of Saturn's moons: Iapetus (Sep 1671), Rhea (1672) and on 21 Mar 1684,* Tethys and Dione. He compiled new tables (1662) on the annual motion of the Sun. He observed shadows of four Galilean satellites on Jupiter (1664), and measured its rotation period by studying the bands and spots on its surface. He determined the period of rotation of Mars (1666), and attempted the same for Venus. His son Jacques was also an astronomer.*TIS (There were four consecutive Cassini generations to hold the post at the French Observatory. After Giovanni came Giovanni's son Jacques, then his grandson César-François Cassini de Thury, and finally his great grandson Jean-Dominique Cassini, Conte de Cassini.)

1835 The Rt. Rev. John Mortimer Brinkley D.D. (ca. 1763 (Baptized 31 Jan,1763, Woodbridge, Suffolk – 14 September 1835, Dublin) was the first Royal Astronomer of Ireland and later Bishop of Cloyne.
He graduated B.A. in 1788 as senior wrangler and Smith's Prizeman, was elected a fellow of the college and was awarded M.A. in 1791. He was ordained at Lincoln Cathedral in the same year, and in 1792 became the second Andrews Professor of Astronomy in the University of Dublin, which carried the new title of Royal Astronomer of Ireland. Together with John Law, Bishop of Elphin, he drafted the chapter on "Astronomy" in William Paley's Natural Theology. His main work concerned stellar astronomy and he published his Elements of Plane Astronomy in 1808. In 1822 he was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was awarded the Copley Medal by the Royal Society in 1824. Brinkley's observations that several stars shifted their apparent place in the sky in the course of a year were disproved at Greenwich by his contemporary John Pond, the Astronomer Royal. In 1826, he was appointed Bishop of Cloyne in County Cork, a position he held for the remaining nine years of his life. Brinkley was elected President of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1831, serving in that position for two years.
He died in 1835 at Leeson Street, Dublin and was buried in Trinity College chapel. He was succeeded at Dunsink Observatory by Sir William Rowan Hamilton. *Wik

1882 Georges Leclanché ( 1839, 14 Sep 1882) French engineer who invented the wet cell Leclanché battery (1866), ancestor of the familiar carbon-zinc dry cell batteries used to power portable electric lights and electronic devices. His wet cell, provided an e.m.f. of about 1.5 volts. A porous pot containing manganese dioxide and a carbon rod as current collector was immersed in an electrolyte of ammonium chloride solution with a negative terminal of zinc metal. From 1867, Leclanché gave full-time attention to his invention, which was adopted the following year by the Belgian telegraph service. He opened a factory to manufacture the battery. In 1881, J.A. Thiebaut had the idea of packing the chemicals in a zinc cup. Carl Gassner made the first commercially successful "dry" cell.*TIS

1912 Georg Landsberg (30 Jan 1865 , 14 Sept 1912) studied the theory of functions of two variables and also the theory of higher dimensional curves. In particular he studied the role of these curves in the calculus of variations and in mechanics.
He worked with ideas related to those of Weierstrass, Riemann and Heinrich Weber on theta functions and Gaussian sums. His most important work, however was his contribution to the development of the theory of algebraic functions of a single variable. Here he studied the Riemann-Roch theorem.
He was able to combine Riemann's function theoretic approach with the Italian geometric approach and with the Weierstrass arithmetical approach. His arithmetic setting of this result led eventually to the modern abstract theory of algebraic functions.
One of his most important works was Theorie der algebraischen Funktionen einer Varaiblen (Leipzig, 1902) which he wrote jointly with Kurt Hensel. This work remained the standard text on the subject for many years. *SAU

1916 Pierre-Maurice-Marie Duhem (10 Jun 1861, 14 Sep 1916) was a French physicist, philosopher of science and mathematician who emphasized a history of modern science based on evolutionary metaphysical concepts. He had a wide variety of mathematical interests from mechanics and physics to philosophy and the history of mathematics. Duhem studied magnetism following the work of Gibbs and Helmholtz and also worked on thermodynamics and hydrodynamics producing over 400 papers. He maintained that the role of theory in science is to systematize relationships rather than to interpret new phenomena.*TIS

1925 Charles Tweedie (27 June 1868 , 14 Sept 1925) studied at Edinburgh, Göttingen and Berlin. He returned to Edinburgh as assistant to Chrystal. He served as a Schools Inspector and published works on the History of Mathematics. He became President of the EMS in 1903 and an honorary member in 1915. *SAU

1926 Johan Ludvig Emil Dreyer (13 Feb 1852, 14 Sep 1926) Danish astronomer who compiled the New General Catalog of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars, (NGC) in 1888. When he became Director of the Armagh Observatory in 1882, financially it was destitute, with no prospect of replacing its aging instruments. Though Dreyer obtained a new 10-inch refractor by Grubb, the lack of funding for an assistant, precluded him from a continuation of traditional positional astronomy. Instead he concentrated on the compilation of observations made earlier. The NGC he listed 7840 objects and in its supplements (1895, 1908) he added a further 5386 objects. It still remains one of the standard reference catalogs.*TIS

1932 Ernest Julius Wilczynski (13 Nov 1876 , 14 Sept 1932) began his research career as a mathematical astronomer. This interest lasted until he was appointed to Berkeley. By that time he had published over a dozen papers in astronomy, but his interests moved towards differential equations which arose in his study of the dynamics of astronomical objects. From there his interests became pure mathematical interests in differential equations. However, Wilczynski's main work was in projective differential geometry and ruler surfaces. He extended Halphen's work, devised new methods and extended the theory of curves to surfaces.*SAU

1973 Eleanor Pairman (8 June 1896, 14 Sept 1973) graduated from Edinburgh. She went to London where she worked with Karl Pearson and then went to the USA where she gained a doctorate from Radcliffe College. *SAU

2011 Rudolf Ludwig Mössbauer (31 Jan 1929 - 14 September 2011) German physicist and co-winner (with American Robert Hofstadter) of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1961 for his researches concerning the resonance absorption of gamma-rays and his discovery in this connection of the Mössbauer effect. The Mössbauer effect occurs when gamma rays emitted from nuclei of radioactive isotopes have an unvarying wavelength and frequency. This occurs if the emitting nuclei are tightly held in a crystal. Normally, the energy of the gamma rays would be changed because of the recoil of the radiating nucleus. Mössbauer's discoveries helped to prove Einstein's general theory of relativity. His discoveries are also used to measure the magnetic field of atomic nuclei and to study other properties of solid materials. *TIS
Rudolf Mössbauer was an excellent teacher. He gave highly specialized lectures on numerous courses, including Neutrino Physics, Neutrino Oscillations, The Unification of the Electromagnetic and Weak Interactions and The Interaction of Photons and Neutrons With Matter. In 1984, he gave undergraduate lectures to 350 people taking the physics course. He told his students: “Explain it! The most important thing is, that you are able to explain it! You will have exams, there you have to explain it. Eventually, you pass them, you get your diploma and you think, that's it! – No, the whole life is an exam, you'll have to write applications, you'll have to discuss with peers... So learn to explain it! You can train this by explaining to another student, a colleague. If they are not available, explain it to your mother – or to your cat!” *Wik

Credits :
*CHM=Computer History Museum
*FFF=Kane, Famous First Facts
*NSEC= NASA Solar Eclipse Calendar
*RMAT= The Renaissance Mathematicus, Thony Christie
*SAU=St Andrews Univ. Math History
*TIA = Today in Astronomy
*TIS= Today in Science History
*VFR = V Frederick Rickey, USMA
*Wik = Wikipedia
*WM = Women of Mathematics, Grinstein & Campbell

Saturday, 13 September 2014

On This Day in Math - September 13

Proof is the idol before whom the pure mathematician tortures himself.
~Sir Arthur Eddington

The 256th day of the year; 256 is the smallest composite to composite power,44. Paul Erdos conjectured that no power of 2 is the sum of distinct powers of three.
(and from jim wilder @ wilderlab √256 = 2 • 5 + 6)

The sum of the cubes of the first 256 odd numbers is a perfect number. \( \sum\limits_{i=1}^256 (2i+1)^3 = 8589869056\) the 6th perfect number. (all perfect numbers (except 6) are the sum of the cubes of first 2n cubes for some (but not all) n)

1763 Christopher Irwin’s marine chairs were loaded onto the Princess Louisa to head off to Barbados. Irwin’s chair was being tested alongside Tobias Mayer’s lunar tables and John Harrison’s sea watch.
On 13 September 1763, the log of Lieutenant Patrick Fotheringham records how the ship “Came alongside a Hoy with two Marine Chairs and apparatus for observing the Planet Jupiter in order to finding yet Longde. at Sea the Commissioners for ye Discovery to examine these Machines under ye Direction of Adml. Tyrrell in ye course of his Voyage; Do. came on Bd Mr. Christopher Erwin the Inventor of ye Marine Machine”. *Board of Longitude project, Greenwich

1844 The term ABELIAN INTEGRAL is found in a letter of Sept. 8, 1844, from William Henry Fox Talbot: "What is the definition of an Abelian Integral? for it appears to me that most integrals possess the Abelian property." The letter was addressed to John Frederick William Herschel, who, in his reply of Sept. 13, 1844, wrote: "I suppose the most general definition of an Abelian Integral might be taken to be this that between ∫(x) and ∫(φ(x)) there shall subsist an algebraical relation between several such functions."  As a postscript, he adds that "a very curious photographic novelty occurred to me a day or 2 ago" in which he describes how to use a negative to create a positive image.(Talbot's original contributions included the concept of a negative from which many positive prints can be made (although the terms negative and positive were coined by Herschel), and the use of gallic acid for developing the latent image. [The Talbot letters are available here. ] *Jeff Miller Web site & Wik

1883 Opening of the University of Texas at Austin and Galveston. *VFR

1955 Minor Planet (3167) Babcock 1955 RS. Discovered 1955 September 13 at the Goethe Link Observatory at Brooklyn, Indiana. Named in memory of Harold D. Babcock (1882-1968) and in honor of his son Horace W. Babcock, (on whose birthday it was discovered, see BIRTHS below) astronomers at Mount Wilson Observatory, the latter also serving as director of Palomar Observatory. The elder Babcock's precise laboratory studies of atomic spectra allowed others to identify the first "forbidden" lines in the laboratory and to discover the rare isotopes of oxygen. With C. E. St. John and others, he extended Rowland's tables of the solar spectrum into the ultraviolet and infrared. The Babcocks ruled excellent large gratings, including those used in the coudé spectrographs of the 2.5-m and 5-m telescopes, and they measured the distribution of magnetic fields over the solar surface to unprecedented precision. The younger Babcock invented and built many astronomical instruments, including the solar magnetograph, microphotometers and automatic guiders. By combining his polarization analyzer with the spectrograph he discovered magnetic fields in other stars, and he developed important models of sunspots and their magnetism. (M 15089) Name proposed by F. K. Edmondson. *NSEC

1959 Lunik II hit the moon, being the first man-made object to do so.In 1959, the first space probe to strike the moon was the Soviet Luna 2, which crashed east of the Sea of Serenity. Thirty-six hours after its launch, it was the first man-made object to reach a celestial body. *TIS On September 15, 1959, the premier of the USSR, Nikita Khrushchev, presented to the American president Dwight D. Eisenhower a copy of the spherical pennant (used onboard the Luna 2) as a gift. That sphere is located at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Kansas.*Wik The actual time of collision was September 13, 1959, 21:02:24 UTC

1983 Osborne Computer declares bankruptcy, two years after producing the first portable computer, the 24-pound Osborne I. Designed by company founder Adam Osborne, the $1,795 machine included software worth about $1,500. The machine featured a 5-inch display, 64 kilobytes of memory, a modem, and two 5 1/4-inch floppy disk drives.
In April 1981, Byte Magazine Editor-in-Chief Chris Morgan mentioned the Osborne I in an article on Future Trends in Personal Computing. He wrote: I recently had an opportunity to see the Osborne I in action. I was impressed with it's compactness: it will fit under an airplane seat. (Adam Osborne is currently seeking approval from the FAA to operate the unit on board a plane.) One quibble: the screen may be too small for some people's taste.*CHM

2007 Closing date for a prize for a solution to Fermat’s last theorem. Due to inflation the prize of one hundred thousand marks has long been worthless.*VFR (perhaps not completely worthless.) In 1908 The academy of sciences of Gottingen announced a prize of one hundred thousand marks, according to the will of Dr. Paul Wolfskehl, of Darmstadt, for the proof of Fermat’s great theorem. A German industrialist and amateur mathematician, Wolfskehl bequeathed 100,000 marks to the Göttingen Academy of Sciences to be offered as a prize for a complete proof of Fermat's Last Theorem. On 27 June 1908, the Academy published nine rules for awarding the prize. Among other things, these rules required that the proof be published in a peer-reviewed journal; the prize would not be awarded for two years after the publication; and that no prize would be given after 13 September 2007, roughly a century after the competition was begun. Wiles collected the Wolfskehl prize money, then worth $50,000, on 27 June 1997.
Prior to Wiles' proof, thousands of incorrect proofs were submitted to the Wolfskehl committee, amounting to roughly 10 feet (3 meters) of correspondence. In the first year alone (1907–1908), 621 attempted proofs were submitted, although by the 1970s, the rate of submission had decreased to roughly 3–4 attempted proofs per month. According to F. Schlichting, a Wolfskehl reviewer, most of the proofs were based on elementary methods taught in schools, and often submitted by "people with a technical education but a failed career". In the words of mathematical historian Howard Eves, "Fermat's Last Theorem has the peculiar distinction of being the mathematical problem for which the greatest number of incorrect proofs have been published."*Wik


1873 Constantin Caratheodory born. (13 Sep 1873; 2 Feb 1950) He worked on the calculus of variations and the theory of real functions. He is the only modern Greek mathematician “who does not suffer by comparison with the famous names of Greek antiquity.” *VFR.
German mathematician of Greek origin who made important contributions to the theory of real functions and to the theory of point-set measure. He demonstrated that the calculus of variations (the theory of maxima and minima in curves) could be applied not just to smooth curves, but also those with corners. He also contributed to thermodynamics and helped develop Einstein's special theory of relativity. *TIS

1885 Wilhelm Blaschke  (13 Sep 1885; 17 Mar 1962) German mathematician whose major contributions to geometry concerned kinematics and differential geometry. Kinetic mapping (important later in the axiomatic foundations of various geometries) he both discovered and established it as a tool in kinematics. He also initiated topological differential geometry (the study of invariant differentiable mappings)*TIS

1912 Horace Welcome Babcock (13 Sep 1912; 29 Aug 2003) was a American astronomer, son of Harold Babcock. Working together, they were the first to measure the distribution of magnetic fields over the surface of the Sun. Horace invented and built many astronomical instruments, including a ruling engine which produced excellent diffraction gratings, the solar magnetograph, and microphotometers, automatic guiders, and exposure meters for the 100 and 200-inch telescopes. By combining his polarizing analyzer with the spectrograph he discovered magnetic fields in other stars. He developed important models of sunspots and their magnetism, and was the first to propose adaptive optics.*TIS

1913 Herman Heine Goldstine (September 13, 1913 – June 16, 2004), mathematician, computer scientist and scientific administrator, was one of the original developers of ENIAC, the first of the modern electronic digital computers.*Wik

1920 William Bowen Bonnor (September 13, 1920 - ) is a mathematician and gravitation physicist best known for his research into astrophysics, cosmology and general relativity. For most of his academic career he has been a professor of mathematics at the University of London.*Wik

1923 Peter K Henrici (13 Sept 1923 , 13 March 1987) He made "major contributions to preserving and enriching our mathematical heritage. His books and papers have helped greatly in maintaining numerical analysis as a subject with beauty, order, and structure, in the spirit of the great pioneers of the past. He keeps reminding us to ask what Gauss would have done with a parallel computer - or with a pocket calculator."
"Henrici was truly an internationally recognized numerical analyst, having written 11 books and over 80 research papers. A very cultured person who was also a gifted pianist, he was an outstanding teacher particularly interested in helping younger mathematicians. His lectures showed great polish and inspired many. His guidance and unselfish contributions as an editor have helped make Numerische Mathematik the respected journal it is. For this alone, we owe him a great debt of gratitude." *SAU

1926 Sidney David Drell (born September 13, 1926, Atlantic City) is an American theoretical physicist and arms control expert. He is a professor emeritus at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) and a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. Drell is a noted contributor in the field of quantum electrodynamics and particle physics. The Drell–Yan process is partially named after him. He was one of the winners of the 2000 Enrico Fermi Award.*Wik


1296 Johannes Campanus (1220 in Novara, Italy - 13 Sept 1296 in Viterbo, Italy) also known as Campanus of Novara, was an Italian mathematician who published a Latin edition of Euclid's Elements. He also wrote on astronomy.*SAU

1940 Myron Mathisson (15 Dec 1897 , 13 Sept 1940) was a Polish Jew known for his work on the equations of motion of bodies in general relativity and for developing a new method to analyze the properties of fundamental solutions of linear hyperbolic differential equations. In particular, he derived the equations for a spinning body moving in a gravitational field and proved, in a special case, the Hadamard conjecture on the class of equations that satisfy the Huygens principle. His work still exerts influence on current research.*Cornell Univ Library

Credits :
*CHM=Computer History Museum
*FFF=Kane, Famous First Facts
*NSEC= NASA Solar Eclipse Calendar
*RMAT= The Renaissance Mathematicus, Thony Christie
*SAU=St Andrews Univ. Math History
*TIA = Today in Astronomy
*TIS= Today in Science History
*VFR = V Frederick Rickey, USMA
*Wik = Wikipedia
*WM = Women of Mathematics, Grinstein & Campbell