## Sunday 19 May 2024

### On This Day in Math - May 19

 "Big Mac", the beautiful Mackinac Bridge

We [he and Halmos] share a philosophy about linear algebra:
we think basis-free,
we write basis-free,
but when the chips are down we close the office door
and compute with matrices like fury.

Irving Kaplansky honoring Paul Halmos

The 139th day of the year; 139 and 149 are the first consecutive primes differing by 10.
139 = 9*8+7*6+5*4+3*2-1 *Prime Curios

139 is the sum of five consecutive prime numbers( 19+ 23+ 29 +31+ 37)

139 is also a Happy number, if you square the digits and add, then continue to repeat with each result, you will eventually come to the number one.

139 ---- 91----- 82 ------ 68---- 100 ----- 1

The happy numbers up to 100 are: 1, 7, 10, 13, 19, 23, 28, 31, 32,44, 49, 68, 70, 79, 82, 86, 91, 94, 97, 100,(The earliest I have ever found this term was in an article in The Arithmetic Teacher, Feb 1974. "Happiness is some Intriguing numbers" by Billie Earl Sparks of George Peabody College in Nashville, Tn.)

Just found a slightly earlier paper, but it gives no information about origin:

Happy Numbers
Daniel P. Wensing

EVENTS

1662 Samuel Pepys, Secretary of the Navy Board inspects the new Mint in the Tower of London, but will not be allowed to see the ultra secret "edging" machines that engraved an inscription into the edge of the coins to safeguard against the common practice of "clipping" that was common. It was one of the first "milled" currencies in the world.

The rumor that Newton was the originator of this idea is certainly false as he only became director of the mint in 1696.  The country was still in the process of recalling all unmilled coinage at that time, however.

The common meaning of "milling" often just means coins which are produced by some form of machine, rather than by manually hammering coin blanks between two dies (hammered coinage) or casting coins from dies.  Pressing ridges or writing around the edge is often called reeded.  The U S term is most often "grooved".

image:Milled edge of a German 2 euro coin, embossed with Germany's unofficial national motto "Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit"  *Wik

1673 Leeuwenhoek's first letter to the Royal Society, is published in Philosophical Transactions number 94, "A Specimen of Some Observations Made by a Microscope, Contrived by M. Leewenhoeck in Holland, Lately Communicated by Dr. Regnerus de Graaf." Over the rest of his life, the Society would publish 116 articles containing excerpts from 113 letters. *lensonleeuwenhoek

The letter included his microscopic observations on mold, bees (stingers, eyes), and lice.

1803 Nicholas Fusss , Permanent Secretary of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, writes to Carl Gauss to offer Gauss a position with a salary of 2400 rubles plus free lodgings and heat.  The title would be board counselor, equal to a colonel in the Army, and the old age pension of half salary after twenty years and full salary after thirty  years.His widow and children would also be paid a pension depending on his length of service.  Gauss had graciously refuse the offer on April 3, and Fuss seemed to be offering a chance to change his mind by reminding him of, "some of the advantages you have apparently renounced.."

Fuss was born in Basel, Switzerland. He moved to Saint Petersburg to serve as a mathematical assistant to Leonhard Euler from 1773–1783, and remained there until his death. From 1800–1826, Fuss served as the permanent secretary to the Imperial Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg.

1825 Faraday isolates benzine. In 1825, Faraday started work on a sample of oil that had been sent to him for analysis by the Portable Oil Company of London. He subjected this oil to fractional distillation, a process that proved to be extremely difficult, and it took him some time to resolve the oil into its pure components. By repeated fractional distillation followed by selective fractional freezing, each stage monitored by analysis, he produced a fairly pure sample of what he called bicarburet of hydrogen. Faraday’s notebook records these procedures, which he carried out on 18 and 19 May 1825. Auguste Laurent suggested the name benzene. *Jennifer Wilson, Celebrating Michael Faraday’s Discovery of Benzene, Ambix,Volume 59, Issue 3

1906, the Simplon Tunnel was officially opened as the world's longest railroad tunnel. Cutting through the Alps between Italy and Switzerland, it was officially opened by the King of Italy and the president of the Swiss Republic. The construction of the 12-mile Simplon Tunnel, one of the world's longest rail tunnels was undertaken in the 1890s by Alfred Brandt, head of a German engineering firm, and inventor of an efficient rock drill. The total length of the tunnel is 64,972 feet cut through the solid rock of the Simplon Mountain between the Rhone and the Diveria valley. As a direct route under the mountain, it considerably shortened the surface distance for an important European trade route between Brig, Switzerland and Iselle, Italy. *TIS

The work began on 22 November in 1898.

1910, the Earth passed through the tail of Halley's Comet, the most intimate contact between the Earth and any comet in recorded history. The event was anticipated with dire predictions. Since a few years earlier, astronomers had found the poisonous gas cyanogen in a comet, it was surmised that if Earth passed through the comet's tail everyone would die. Astronomers explained that the gas molecules within the tail were so tenuous that absolutely no ill effects would be noticed. Nevertheless, ignorance bred opportunists selling "comet pills" to the panicked portion of the public to counter the effects of the cyanogen gas. On 20 May, after Earth had passed through the tail, everyone was still alive - with or without taking pills! *TIS New York Times coverage is HALLEY’S COMET BRUSHES EARTH WITH ITS TAIL (banner headline of the newspaper); 350 American astronomers keep vigil; Reactions of fear and prayer repeated; All night services held in many churches; 1881 dire prophecies recalled by comet scare.

 *All That's Interesting

1979 In the Chicago Sun-Times W. F. Buckley wrote “The Rasmussen Report estimates there will be one melt down every 20,000 reactor-years, and one fatality (from cancer) every 50 reactor-years. Conjoin these data (20,000 divided by 50) and you get the ﬁgure of 400 deaths per year.” Quoted from the “Hows that again department,” AMM 90 (1983), p 220.*VFR

2006 Apple 'Cube' Shop Opens in Big Apple, NY City:
Apple Computer opened its second retail store in New York City. The 20,000-square foot store is situated in the underground concourse of the General Motors building at 767 Fifth Avenue. New Yorkers stood in line for hours in order to be among the first to enter. Open 24-hours a day, the shop is visible at street level through a 32-foot glass cube. It cost \$9 million and was designed by Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs.*CHM

 *Wik

BIRTHS

1682 Mei Juecheng (19 May 1681 in Xuangcheng, now Xuanzhou City, Anhui province, China - 20 Nov 1763 in China) published Chishui yizhen (Pearls recovered from the Red River). This contained the infinite series expansion for sin(x) which was discovered by James Gregory and Isaac Newton. In fact the Jesuit missionary Pierre Jartoux (1669-1720) (known in China as Du Demei) introduced the infinite series for the sine into China in 1701 and it was known there by the name 'formula of Master Du'.*SAU

1832 Edmond Bour (19 May 1832 in Gray, Haute-Saône, France - 9 March 1866 in Paris, France)Bour made many significant contributions to analysis, algebra, geometry and applied mechanics despite his early death from an incurable disease. His remarkable achievements were cut short at the age of 33 and as a consequence Bour is hardly known in the history of mathematics whereas one feels that if he had been given the chance to continue his outstanding work he would today be remembered as one of the major figures in the subject. *SAU

1862 Gino Benedetto Loria (19 May 1862 in Mantua, Italy -30 Jan 1954 in Genoa, Italy) In his day, Loria was arguably the pre-eminent historian of mathematics in Italy. A full professor of higher geometry at the University of Genoa beginning in 1891, Loria wrote the history of mathematics as a mathematician writing for other mathematicians. He emphasized this approach repeatedly in his works. For instance, in the introduction to his 'Storia delle matematiche dall'alba della civilità al tramonto del secolo XIX' (History of Mathematics from the Dawn of Civilisation to the End of the 19th Century), he stated that general history of mathematics was written "by a mathematician for mathematicians". *SAU

1865  Flora Philip (19 May 1865 – 14 August 1943) was a Scottish mathematician, one of the first women to receive a degree from the University of Edinburgh and the first female member of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society.

Philip attended at Tain Academy and then moved to Edinburgh in 1883 to continue her education.[1] At the time, the law prevented women from studying at Scottish universities so she enrolled with the Edinburgh Association for the University Education of Women. In 1885 she was awarded the University of Edinburgh Certificate in Arts by University Principal Sir William Muir, for her studies in English literature, ethics, mathematics and physiology.

In 1889 the Universities (Scotland) Act was passed allowing women to be admitted to Scottish universities for the first time. Philip matriculated at the University of Edinburgh and received her degree for her previous studies. On 13 April 1893 she and seven other women graduated from the University, becoming the first women to do so. A report on the graduation ceremony noted "a large attendance of the general public, many of whom were doubtless draw thither to witness the spectacle, seen for the first time in the history of this university, of ladies taking their places (one lady with distinction) among the graduates

In 1943, the University of Edinburgh marked the fiftieth anniversary of that first group of women graduates, and three of eight attended the ceremony as honoured guests on the platform: Flora Philip, Maude Elizabeth Newbigin, Amelia Hutchison Stirling. Philip died later that year.

1918 Abraham Pais (19 May 1918 - 28 Jul 2000 at age 82) Dutch-American physicist and science historian whose research became the building blocks of the theory of elemental particles. He wrote Subtle Is the Lord: The Science and Life of Albert Einstein, which is considered the definitive Einstein biography. In Holland, his Ph.D. in physics was awarded on 9 Jul 1941, five days before a Nazi deadline banning Jews from receiving degrees. Later, during WW II, while in hiding to evade the Gestapo, he worked out ideas in quantum electrodynamics that he later shared when working with Niels Bohr (Jan - Aug 1946). In Sep 1946, he went to the U.S. to work with Robert Oppenheimer at Princeton, where Pais contributed to the foundations of the modern theory of particle physics. *TIS
"To make a discovery is not necessarily the same as to understand a discovery. "  His biography of Einstein is considered one of the finest science biographies written:

1919 Georgii Dmitrievic Suvorov (19 May 1919 in Saratov, Russia - 12 Oct 1984 in Donetske, Ukraine) Suvorov made major contributions to the theory of functions. He worked, in particular, on the theory of topological and metric mappings on 2-dimensional space. Another area on which Suvorov worked was the theory of conformal mappings and quasi-formal mappings. His results in this area, mostly from the late 1960s when he was at Donetsk, are of particular significance. He extended Lavrentev's results in this area, in particular Lavrentev's stability and differentiability theorems, to more general classes of transformations. One of the many innovations in Suvorov's work was new methods which he introduced to help in the understanding of metric properties of mappings with bounded Dirichlet integral. *SAU

1927 Serge Lang  (May 19, 1927 – September 12, 2005) was a French-born mathematician who spent most of his life in the USA. He is best-known for his outstanding undergraduate text-books.*SAU He was a member of the Bourbaki group. Lang was born in Paris in 1927, and moved with his family to California as a teenager, where he graduated in 1943 from Beverly Hills High School. He subsequently graduated from the California Institute of Technology in 1946, and received a doctorate from Princeton University in 1951. He held faculty positions at the University of Chicago and Columbia University (from 1955, leaving in 1971 in a dispute). At the time of his death he was professor emeritus of mathematics at Yale University. *Wik
Lang's Algebra, a graduate-level introduction to abstract algebra, was a highly influential text that ran through numerous updated editions. His Steele prize citation stated, "Lang's Algebra changed the way graduate algebra is taught...It has affected all subsequent graduate-level algebra books." It contained ideas of his teacher, Artin; some of the most interesting passages in Algebraic Number Theory also reflect Artin's influence and ideas that might otherwise not have been published in that or any form.

1930 Rudolf Emil Kálmán (May 19, 1930 – July 2, 2016) is a Hungarian-American electrical engineer, mathematical system theorist, and college professor, who was educated in the United States, and has done most of his work there. He is currently a retired professor from three different institutes of technology and universities. He is most noted for his co-invention and development of the Kalman filter, a mathematical formulation that is widely used in control systems, avionics, and outer space manned and unmanned vehicles. For this work, U.S. President Barack Obama awarded Kálmán with the National Medal of Science on October 7, 2009. *Wik

1962 Richard Lawrence Taylor (born 19 May 1962) is a British mathematician working in the field of number theory. He is currently the Barbara Kimball Browning Professor in Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University.

Taylor received the 2002 Cole Prize, the 2007 Shaw Prize with Robert Langlands, and the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics.One of the two papers containing the published proof of Fermat's Last Theorem is a joint work of Taylor and Andrew Wiles.

In subsequent work, Taylor (along with Michael Harris) proved the local Langlands conjectures for GL(n) over a number field. A simpler proof was suggested almost at the same time by Guy Henniart, and ten years later by Peter Scholze.

Taylor, together with Christophe Breuil, Brian Conrad and Fred Diamond, completed the proof of the Taniyama–Shimura conjecture, by performing quite heavy technical computations in the case of additive reduction.

DEATHS

804 Alcuin of York,(730s or 740s – 19 May 804) was an English scholar, ecclesiastic, poet and teacher from York, Northumbria. He was born around 735 and became the student of Archbishop Ecgbert at York. At the invitation of Charlemagne, he became a leading scholar and teacher at the Carolingian court, where he remained a figure in the 780s and 790s. He wrote many theological and dogmatic treatises, as well as a few grammatical works and a number of poems. He was made Abbot of Saint Martin's at Tours in 796, where he remained until his death. "The most learned man anywhere to be found" according to Einhard's Life of Charlemagne, he is considered among the most important architects of the Carolingian Renaissance. Among his pupils were many of the dominant intellectuals of the Carolingian era. *Wik
He was born in 735, the year Bede died. As minister of education under Charlemagne, he attempted to reorganize the educational system by popularizing the study of the seven liberal arts and encouraging the study of mathematics as an aid in determining the date of Easter. He wrote the ﬁrst book of mathematical recreations, Propositiones ad acuendis juvenas (Problems for Sharpening the Minds of Youths), which contained 53 mathematical puzzles, including: A wolf, a goat, and a cabbage must be moved across a river in a boat holding only one besides the ferryman. How must he carry them across so that the goat shall not eat the cabbage, nor the wolf the goat? *VFR (Singmaster asserts this is the first example of a river-crossing problem)

My "Brief History of the River Crossing Problem" is here

1731 Francis Maseres (15 December 1731 – 19 May 1824) was an English lawyer. He is known as attorney general of the Province of Quebec, judge, mathematician, historian, member of the Royal Society, and cursitor baron of the exchequer. *Wik Maseres wrote many mathematical works which show a complete lack of creative ability. He rejected negative numbers and that part of algebra which is not arithmetic, despite writing 150 years after Viète and Harriot. It is probable that Maseres rejected all mathematics which he could not understand. *SAU

1881 Rev U Jessee Kniseley (March 14, 1838 - May 19, 1881) was born in New Philadelphia, Ohio March 14 1838 He was a self made man and in a very great measure self educated. The degree of MA was conferred on him by Marietta College and that of PhD by Wittenberg College in which latter institution he had formerly been a classical and theological student. He also attended Jefferson College Pa but was not a graduate of any college. He was chosen President and Professor of Mathematics of Luther College, an institution of ephemeral existence. Rev Dr Knisely was a Lutheran preacher of marked ability and great eloquence and for fourteen years previous to his death he was the loved pastor of the church of that denomination at Newcomerstown. He was a very fine mathematician and excelled especially in the solution of algebraic and geometrical problems The elegant solution of a Diophantine problem on pp 105 and 106 of the Mathematical Visitor Vol I No 4 and of the celebrated Malfatti's Problem pp 189 and 190 of No 6 are admirable samples of his superior skill in these departments of analysis. Rev Dr Knisely was also a master of language and the author of several works. Copies of his Parser's Manual and Arithmetical Questions for the Recreation of the Teacher and the Discipline of the Pupil are possessed by the writer. It is stated in the Tuscarawas Chroical from which the substance of a portion of this notice is taken that he was also author of Kniseley's Arithmetic and Mrs Knisely states that he had in preparation a work on the Carculus, but of these works the writer knows nothing. His last work was the revision of Ray's Higher Arithmetic and the Key which he completed but a short time before his death. He died May 19, 1881 at the age of 43 years 2 months and 5 days The disease that caused his death was a general prostration of the nervous system. *Artemas Martin, Mathematical Visitor January 1882

 Aviation pioneers Ella and Percy Pilcher with their Hawk glider, Glasgow, 1896. Via Philip Jarrett.*Wik

1939 Ella Sophia Gertrude Pilcher (c. 1865, 19 May, 1939) was a pioneering British aviator, and the first woman in the Britain to fly in a glider. She co-created gliders with her younger brother, Percy Pilcher, in the 1890's. She was made an honorary member of the Royal Aeronautical Society (then called Aeronautical Society of Great Britain) in 1899 shortly after her brother died in a glider crash. He had a powered aeroplane completed and scheduled for exhibition only days afterward. In the period from 1896 to 1899 she was often pictured in photos with her brother, but seldom mentioned. One observer did include: "I hope I may be permitted to remark that Mr. Pilcher has been, fortunately, blessed with the possession of a sister, who not only acted as the presiding goddess of the tea-table on the present occasion, but actually made most of the wing surfaces with her own hands."

1942 Sir Joseph Larmor (11 July 1857 Magheragall, County Antrim, Ireland – 19 May 1942 Holywood, County Down, Northern Ireland) Irish physicist, the first to calculate the rate at which energy is radiated by an accelerated electron, and the first to explain the splitting of spectrum lines by a magnetic field. His theories were based on the belief that matter consists entirely of electric particles moving in the ether. His elaborate mathematical electrical theory of the late 1890s included the "electron" as a rotational strain (a sort of twist) in the ether. But Larmor's theory did not describe the electron as a part of the atom. Many physicists envisioned both material particles and electromagnetic forces as structures and strains in that hypothetical fluid. *TIS

1979 Ralph Duncan James (1909 Liverpool, England – 19 May 1979 Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada) was an English and Canadian mathematician working on number theory and analysis. *Wik James contributed in a major way towards the development of mathematics in North America. He was Editor-in-Chief of the American Mathematical Monthly from 1957 to 1962. For many years he was on the Editorial Boards of the Canadian Journal of Mathematics and of the Pacific Journal of Mathematics. He also served as President of the Canadian Mathematical Society (then called the Canadian Mathematical Congress) from 1961 to 1963. In fact all the previous presidents had served terms of four years, but James felt that this was too long a period to hold the position so it was reduced to a two year term. He served two terms on the Council of the American Mathematical Society. *SAU

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