Monday, 30 July 2012

On This Day in Math - July 30

I have created a new universe from nothing.
~Janos Bolyai

The 212th day of the year; Besides being the Fahrenheit boiling point of water at sea level, 212 produces a prime of the form k10+k9+...+k2+k+1, when k=212. (students might explore different values of k, and different maximum exponents to produce when k is 2, then 26 +25+...+22+2+1 is prime)


1738 Euler sends a letter to John Bernoulli with the solution to a question from Danial Bernoulli regarding isoperimetric curves, particularly the  one for which the integral of rm gave a maximum or minimum.

1859 Bernhard Reimann is appointed full professor at Gottingen, succeeding his two former teachers, Gauss and Dirichlet. He also is allowed to occupy Gauss' apartments at the observatory. *John Derbyshire, Prime Obsession, pg 135

In 1898, Corn Flakes were invented by William Kellogg. At Battle Creek Sanitarium, Sanitarium superintendent, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and Will Keith Kellogg, his younger brother and business manager, invented many grain-based foods, including a coffee substitute, a type of granola, and peanut butter to provide patients a strict nutritious diet. In 1894 they unintentionally invented a flaked cereal process based on wheat. By 1898, W.K. Kellogg had developed the first flaked corn cereal. Patients enjoyed the cereals and wanted more to take home. In 1906, the Battle Creek Toaster Corn Flake Company was founded by W.K. Kellogg.*TIS

1971 Apollo 15 mission became the fourth mission to land on the moon when the Falcon lunar lander touched down. This mission allowed the astronauts to spend more time on the surface of the moon. The lander stayed three days on the surface and the crew conducted over 18 hours of outside work. They also were aided for the first time by a lunar rover vehicle.*Science Today


1857 Thorstein Bunde Veblen, (July 30, 1857 – August 3, 1929) was an American economist and sociologist, and a leader of the so-called institutional economics movement. Besides his technical work he was a popular and witty critic of capitalism, as shown by his best known book The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899).

1863 Henry Ford (July 30, 1863 – April 7, 1947) American inventor and car manufacturer, born in Dearborn, Mich. Ford first experimented with internal combustion engines while he was an engineer with the Edison Illuminating Company. He completed his first useful gas motor on 24 Dec 1893. The Quadricycle, he designed made its first road test on 4 Jun 1896. In 1903 the Ford Motor Company was incorporated. By 1908, Ford was manufacturing the low cost, reliable Model T, while continuing to revolutionize his industry. Ford introduced precision manufactured parts designed to be standardized and interchangeable parts. In 1913, production was increased using a continuous moving assembly line. By 1918, half of all cars in America were Model T's.*TIS

1878 Joel Stebbins (July 30, 1878 – March 16, 1966) was an American astronomer who pioneered photoelectric photometry in astronomy.
He earned his Ph.D at the University of California. He was director of University of Illinois observatory from 1903 to 1922 and the Washburn Observatory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1922 to 1948. After 1948, Stebbins continued his research at Lick Observatory until his final retirement in 1958.
Stebbins brought photoelectric photometry from its infancy in the early 1900s to a mature technique by the 1950s, when it succeeded photography as the primary method of photometry. Stebbins used the new technique to investigate eclipsing binaries, the reddening of starlight by interstellar dust, colors of galaxies, and variable stars.
Stebbins received the following awards:
Rumford Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1913)
Henry Draper Medal of the National Academy of Sciences (1915)
Bruce Medal of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (1941)
Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1950)
Henry Norris Russell Lectureship of the American Astronomical Society (1956)
The Lunar crater Stebbins and the asteroid 2300 Stebbins are named in his honor. *TIA

1887 Felix Andries Vening Meinesz (The Hague July 30, 1887 - Amersfoort August 10, 1966) was a Dutch geophysicist and geodesist who was known for his measurements of gravity at sea for which he devised the Vening Meinesz pendulum apparatus with comparable accuracy as on land. Starting in 1923 he conducted several global gravity surveys on voyages on submarines, particularly to and in the Indonesian Archipelago. He detected strong gravity anomaly belts running parallel to the Indonesian deep sea trenches. He explained these Meinesz belts as sites of downbuckling of the Earth's crust. He introduced the concept of regional isostasy taking flexure of an elastic crust into account. He also contributed to physical geodesy: The Vening Meinesz formula connects the deviation of the vertical from the plumbline to gravity anomalies. *TIS

1888 Vladimir Zworykin (July 29 [O.S. July 17] 1888 – July 29, 1982) was born in Russia. After emigrating to Pittsburgh, Zworykin took a job at Westinghouse Electric Corp., where in 1923 he filed a patent for the iconoscope, the first television transmission tube and a technology that was to become of interest to early computer designers. With a later invention, the kinescope, Zworykin was able to create the first all-electric television system. Zworykin took the technology to RCA in 1929, where he continued his work and earned the title "father of television.*CMH


1762 William Braikenridge (1700; 30 July 1762 in London, England) was an English clergyman who worked on geometry and discovered independently many of the same results as Maclaurin.*SAU

1978 Rufus Bowen (23 February 1947 - 30 July 1978) worked on dynamical systems. Rufus died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 31. *SAU
In 1970, Bowen completed his doctorate in Mathematics at Berkeley under Stephen Smale, and joined the faculty as assistant professor in that year. At this time he began calling himself Rufus, the nickname he had been given because of his red hair and beard.  He was an invited speaker at the 1974 International Mathematical Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.He was promoted to full professorship in 1977.
Bowen's mature work dealt with dynamical systems theory, a field which Smale, Bowen's dissertation advisor, explored and broadened in the 1960s.

1985 Julia Robinson (December 8, 1919 – July 30, 1985) died of leukemia. After receiving her Ph.D. in 1948 under the direction of Alfred Tarski, she began work on Hilbert’s tenth problem, the problem which occupied most of her professional life.*VFR She also worked on computability, decision problems and non-standard models of arithmetic. *SAU Her sister was Constance Reid who wrote biographies of several mathematicians and several popular math books.

*CHM=Computer History Museum
*FFF=Kane, Famous First Facts
*NSEC= NASA Solar Eclipse Calendar
*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

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