See Events:1897 |

It is a mathematical fact that the casting of this pebble from my hand alters the centre of gravity of the universe.

~Thomas Carlyle

The 36th day of the year; 36 is the smallest non trivial number which is both triangular and square. What's the next?

**EVENTS**

1676 Newton wrote Hooke: "What DesCartes did was a good step....If I have seen further it is bystanding on ye sholders of Giants." *VFR

1689 The Convention Parliament, with Cambridge U. MP Isaac Newton voting in the majority, declared the throne of England vacant after James II escaped to France with the permission of his Son-in-Law and daughter, William and Mary, who were offered the crown jointly. The only record of a comment by Newton during the Parliament except to ask for a servant to close a drafty window. *Thomas Levenson, Newton and The Counterfeiter.

1772 Laplace presented his ﬁrst probability memoir to the Acad´emie des Sciences. *VFR

1796 Schiller (1759–1815) wrote to Goethe (1749–1832): “Wo es die Sache leidet, halte ich es immer f¨ur besser, nicht mit dem Anfang anzufangen, der immer das Schwerste ist.” (I always think it better, whenever possible, not to begin at the beginning, as it is always the most difficult part). Although this is advice from one poet to another, it seems to apply to mathematics, especially the foundations of mathematics. Quoted from Numbers (1990) by H.-D. Ebinghaus et al., p. 6. *VFR

1840 The American Statistical Association held its ﬁrst annual meeting, in Boston. "On November 27, 1839, five men held a meeting in the rooms of the American Education Society at No. 15 Cornhill in Boston, Massachusetts, to organize a statistical society. Its purpose, as stated in the society's first constitution, was to "collect, preserve, and diffuse statistical information in the different departments of human knowledge." Originally called the American Statistical Society, the organization's name was changed to the American Statistical Association (ASA) at its first annual meeting, held in Boston on February 5, 1840. " *Robert L. Mason, ASA: The First 160 Years

1850 D. D. Parmalee issued a patent (US Patent # 7074) for the ﬁrst key-driven adding machine. *VFR

While this was the first US patent, an earlier key-driven machine had been patented "as early as 1844 by Jean-Baptiste Schwilgue´ (1776– 1856), together with his son Charles. Jean-Baptiste Schwilgue´ was the architect of Strasbourg’s third astronomical clock during the years 1838–1843. He was trained as a clockmaker,but also became professor of mathematics,weights and measures controller, and an industry man, whose particular focus was on improving scales." *Denis Roegel, An Early (1844) Key-Driven Adding Machine, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Volume 30, Number 1, January-March 2008, pp. 59-65

In 1897, the Indiana State House legislature presented Bill No.246 which in effect gave 3.2 exactly as the value of pi. It stated, in part, "the ratio of the diameter and circumference [pi] is as five-fourths to four." That is (4 divided by 5/4) = 16/5 = 3.2 exactly. It was introduced by Representative Taylor I. Record, a farmer and lumber merchant, on behalf of a mathematical hobbyist, Dr. Edwin J. Goodwin, M.D. Neither they, nor the House politicians, understood it was mathematically incorrect. That was shortly recognized by Clarence A. Waldo, mathematics professor at Purdue University, who advised the Indiana Senators. They indefinitely postponed the bill on 12 Feb 1897. Pi is, in fact, an irrational number, approx. 3.141592.*TIS (more detail here)

1958 Kilby Files a Patent for the Integrated Circuit. Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments files a patent application called miniaturized electronic circuits for his work on a multi-transistor device. The patent was only one of 60 that Kilby holds. While Kilby has the earliest patent on the integrated circuit, it was Robert Noyce, later co-founder of Intel, whose parallel work resulted in a practical device. Kilby's device had several transistors connected by flying wires while Noyce devised the idea of interconnection via a layer of metal conductors. Noyce also adapted Jean Hoerni's planar technique for making transistors to the manufacture of more complex circuits. *CHM

*Wik |

^{o}apart for my beautiful Jeannie, but the rest of you may enjoy it as well.

2040 The near-Earth asteroid 2011 AG5 currently has an impact probability of 1 in 625 for Feb. 5, 2040, according to Donald Yeomans, head of the Near-Earth Object Observations Program at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

**BIRTHS**

1907 Wilhelm Magnus (February 5, 1907, Berlin, Germany – October 15, 1990, New York City) made important contributions in combinatorial group theory, Lie algebras, mathematical physics, elliptic functions, and the study of tessellations.*Wik

1915 Robert Hofstadter (5 Feb 1915, 17 Nov 1990) American scientist who was a joint recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1961 for his investigations in which he measured the sizes of the neutron and proton in the nuclei of atoms. He revealed the hitherto unknown structure of these particles and helped create an identifying order for subatomic particles. He also correctly predicted the existence of hte omega-meson and rho-meson. He also studied controlled nuclear fission. Hofstadter was one of the driving forces behind the creation of the Stanford Linear Accelerator. He also made substantial contributions to gamma ray spectroscopy, leading to the use of radioactive tracers to locate tumors and other disorders.*TIS

1930 Urbanik Kazimierz (born 5 February 1930 in Krzemieniec - 29 May 2005 in Wrocław ) - Polish mathematician, rector of the University of Wroclaw ( 1975 - 1981 ), Doctor Honoris Causa of the University of Lodz and the Technical University of Wroclaw. He dealt with problems from different fields of mathematics, but his research interests were focused on the theory of probability . He obtained several important results in the theory of stochastic processes , information theory , theoretical physics , universal algebra , topology and measure theory . He published about 180 scientific papers. *Wik

**DEATHS**

1881 Thomas Carlyle (4 Dec 1795 in Ecclefechan, Dumfriesshire, Scotland - 5 Feb 1881 in Chelsea, London, England) was a Scottish writer who was also interested in mathematics. He translated Legendre's work.*SAU

1939 Gheorghe Ţiţeica ((October 4, 1873–February 5, 1939) publishing as George or Georges Tzitzeica) was a Romanian mathematician with important contributions in geometry. He is recognized as the founder of the Romanian school of differential geometry.*Wik

1977 Oskar Benjamin Klein (September 15, 1894 – 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

1988 Dorothy Lewis Bernstein (April 11, 1914 – February 5, 1988) was an American mathematician known for her work in applied mathematics, statistics, computer programming, and her research on the Laplace transform.

Dorothy Bernstein was born in Chicago, the daughter of Russian immigrants to the US. She was a member of the American Mathematical Society and the first woman elected president of the Mathematical Association of America. Due in great part to Bernstein's ability to get grants from the National Science Foundation, Goucher College (where she taught for decades) was the first women's university to use computers in mathematics instruction in the 1960s.*Wik

1997 Frederick Justin Almgren,(3 July 1933 in Birmingham, Alabama, USA - 5 Feb 1997 in Princeton, USA) Almost certainly Almgren's most impressive and important result was only published in 2000, three years after his death. Why was this? The paper was just too long to be accepted by any journal. Brian Cabell White explains the background in a review of the book published in 2000 containing the result:

By the early 1970s, geometric analysts had made spectacular discoveries about the regularity of mass-minimizing hypersurfaces. (Mass is area counting multiplicity, so that if k sheets of a surface overlap, the overlap region is counted k times.) In particular, the singular set of an m-dimensional mass-minimizing hypersurface was known to have dimension at most m - 7. By contrast, for an m-dimensional mass-minimizing surface of codimension greater than one, the singular set was not even known to have m-measure 0. Around 1974, Almgren started on what would become his most massive project, culminating ten years later in a three-volume, 1700-page preprint containing a proof that the singular set not only has m-dimensional measure 0, but in fact has dimension at most (m - 2). This dimension is optimal, since by an earlier result of H Federer there are examples for which the dimension of the singular set is exactly (m - 2). ...Now, thanks to the efforts of editors Jean Taylor and Vladimir Scheffer, Almgren's three-volume, 1700-page typed preprint has been published as a single, attractively typeset volume of less than 1000 pages.*SAU

Credits

*VFR = V Frederick Rickey, USMA

*TIS= Today in Science History

*Wik = Wikipedia

*SAU=St Andrews Univ. Math History

*CHM=Computer History Museum

*FFF=Kane, Famous First Facts