Famous Mathematicians by Nationality
Ancient Greek Mathematicians
Thales of Miletus (624  546 BC), preSocratic Greek philosopher: Thales' theorem
Pythagoras of Samos (570  495 BC), Ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician: best known for the Pythagorean theorem which bears his name.
Euclid (Euclid of Alexandria) (323–283 BC), Ancient Greek mathematician: often referred to as the "Father of Geometry". His Elements is one of the most influential works in the history of mathematics, especially geometry.
Archimedes of Syracuse (287  212 BC), Ancient Greek mathematician, physicist and engineer: approximated the value of pi using the method of exhaustion (a method of finding the area of a shape by inscribing inside it a sequence of polygons whose areas converge to the area of the containing shape).
Eratosthenes of Cyrene (276  195 BC), Greek mathematician and astronomer: was the first person to calculate the circumference of the earth.
Apollonius of Perga (262  190 BC), Ancient Greek geometer and astronomer: noted for his writings on conic sections. Apollonius introduced the terms parabola, hyperbola, and ellipse.
Muslim Mathematicians
Muhammad Ibn Musa AlKhwarizmi (780  850), Muslim mathematician and astronomer: considered the inventor of algebra (the world algebra is derived from the title of his greatest mathematical work). In the twelfth century, Latin translations of his work on the Indian numerals, introduced the decimal positional number system to the Western world. His Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing presented the first systematic solution of linear and quadratic equations in Arabic.
AlKaraji (953  1029), Muslim mathematician and engineer: studied the algebra of exponents and wrote on the binomial theorem and Pascal's triangle.
Indian Mathematicians
Brahmagupta (598–668 CE), Indian mathematician and astronomer: wrote many important works on mathematics and astronomy. His best known work is the Brahmasphutasiddhanta  including mathematical role of zero, negative and positive numbers, computing square roots, solving linear and quadratic equations, Brahmagupta's identity, and the Brahmagupta’s theorem.
Srinivasa Aiyangar Ramanujan (1887  1920), Indian mathematician: a remarkable mathematical genius and autodidact who made extraordinary contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series and more.
Chinese Mathematicians
Qin Jiushao (1202–1261) was the first to introduce the zero symbol into Chinese mathematics
French Mathematicians
Rene Descartes (1596  1650), French philosopher and mathematician: credited as the father of analytical geometry, the bridge between algebra and geometry, crucial to the discovery of infinitesimal calculus and analysis.
Blaise Pascal (1623  1662), French mathematician and physicist: described a convenient tabular presentation for binomial coefficients, now called Pascal's triangle.
Pierre de Fermat (1601  1665), French lawyer and an amateur mathematician: best known for Fermat's Last Theorem. He is also given credit for early developments that led to infinitesimal calculus. In particular, he is recognized for his discovery of an original method of finding the greatest and the smallest ordinates of curved lines, which is analogous to that of the then unknown differential calculus, and his research into number theory.
1824: Joseph Fourier (1768  1830), French mathematician and physicist: best known for initiating the investigation of Fourier series and their applications to problems of heat transfer and vibrations. Fourier series decomposes periodic functions into the sum of a set of simple oscillating functions, namely sines and cosines.
Jules Henri Poincare (1854  1912) French mathematician and a philosopher of science: made many original fundamental contributions to pure and applied mathematics, mathematical physics, and celestial mechanics. He was responsible for formulating the Poincaré conjecture, one of the most famous unsolved problems in mathematics, until it was solved in 2003 by Grigori Perelman (see below).
LaurentMoise Schwartz (1915  2002), French mathematician: pioneered the theory of distributions, which gives a welldefined meaning to objects such as the Dirac delta function (a function that it is zero for all values of a parameter except when the parameter is zero, and its integral is equal to 1. Instrumnetal for signal processing, probability theory and quantum mechanics). He was awarded the Fields medal in 1950 for his work.
Benoit Mandelbrot (1924  2010), FrenchAmerican mathematician: best known as the father of fractal geometry. He coined the term fractal and described the Mandelbrot set.
British Mathematicians
John Napier (1550 – 1617), Scottish mathematician, physicist and astronomer: logarithms, Napier's bones, decimal notation.
Sir Isaac Newton (1642  1727): English physicists and mathematician  coinventor (with Leibniz) of differential and integral calculus.
George Boole (1815  1864), English mathematician and philosopher: formalized Boolean algebra, the basis for digital logic and computer science.
G. H. Hardy (Godfrey Harold) (1877  1947), English mathematician: known for his achievements in number theory and mathematical analysis.
Alan Turing (1912  1954) English mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist: was highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of algorithm and computation with the Turing machine, which played a significant role in the creation of the modern computer.
Andrew John Wiles (1953  ), British mathematician: most famous for proving Fermat's Last Theorem in 1993 (see above).
German Mathematicians
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646  1716), German philosopher and mathematician: Leibniz is credited, along with Sir Isaac Newton, with the invention of infinitesimal calculus that comprises differential and integral calculus.
Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777  1855), German mathematician and physical scientist who contributed significantly to many fields, including number theory, statistics, analysis, differential geometry, geodesy, geophysics, electrostatics, astronomy and optics.
Bernhard Riemann (1826  1866), German mathematician: made lasting contributions to analysis and differential geometry, some of them enabling the later development of general relativity (Riemannian geometry  a nonEuclidean geometry).
Amalie Emmy Noether (1882  1935), German mathematician known for her groundbreaking contributions to abstract algebra and theoretical physics.
1915: David Hilbert (1862 – 1943), German mathematician: submitted an article containing the correct field equations for general relativity five days before Einstein. Hilbert never claimed priority for this theory (the matter is disputed).
American Mathematicians
John von Neumann (1903  1957), HungarianAmerican mathematician and polymath: made major contributions to game theory, set theory, statistics, quantum mechanics, geometry, fluid dynamics, economics, linear programming computer science and more.
Claude Shannon (1916  2001), American mathematician and electronic engineer: considered by many as father of modern information theory: His paper A Mathematical Theory of Communication dealt with the design of communication channels to carry the maximum amount of reliable information by correction of disturbances caused by line distortions and noise.
Benoit Mandelbrot (1924  2010), FrenchAmerican mathematician: best known as the father of fractal geometry. He coined the term fractal and described the Mandelbrot set.
Robert (Yisrael) Aumann (1930  ), IsraeliAmerican mathematician: member of the United States National Academy of Sciences. Aumann received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2005 for his work on conflict and cooperation through gametheory analysis.
Italian Mathematicians
Leonardo Fibonacci (1170  1250) Italian mathematician: best known for the spreading of the HinduArabic numeral system in Europe, primarily through the publication of his Book of Calculation, the Liber Abaci; and for a number sequence named after him known as the Fibonacci numbers, which he did not discover but used as an example in the Liber Abaci.
Gerolamo Cardano (1501  1576), Italian Renaissance mathematician, physician, and gambler. His gambling led him to formulate elementary rules in probability, making him one of the founders of the field. Best known for his achievements in algebra. He published the solutions to the cubic and quartic equations in his 1545 book Ars Magna.
JosephLouis Lagrange (1736  1813), Italian mathematician and astronomer: made significant contributions to all fields of analysis, number theory, and classical and celestial mechanics.
Giuseppe Peano (1858  1932), Italian mathematician: the author of over 200 books and papers, he was a founder of mathematical logic and set theory.
Russian Mathematicians
Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky (1792  1856), Russian mathematician and geometer: renowned for his pioneering works on hyperbolic geometry  the Lobachevskian geometry (nonEuclidean geometry).
Grigori Perelman (1966  ), Russian mathematician: made landmark contributions to Riemannian geometry and geometric topology. In 2003 he solved the Poincaré conjecture.
Hungarian Mathematicians
Paul Erdos (1913  1996), Hungarian mathematician: Erdos published more papers than any other mathematician in history. He worked on problems in combinatorics, graph theory, number theory, classical analysis, approximation theory, set theory, and probability theory.
John von Neumann (1903  1957), HungarianAmerican mathematician and polymath: made major contributions to game theory, set theory, statistics, quantum mechanics, geometry, fluid dynamics, economics, linear programming computer science and more.
Swiss Mathematicians
Leonhard Euler (1707 – 1783), Swiss mathematician and physicist: contributions to infinitesimal calculus and graph theory.
Austrian Mathematicians
Kurt Friedrich Godel (1906  1978), Austrian logician, mathematician and philosopher: important contributions to mathematical logic and the philosophy of mathematics: the incompleteness theorems (inherent limitations of axiomatic systems).
Israeli Mathematicians
Robert (Yisrael) Aumann (1930  ), IsraeliAmerican mathematician: member of the United States National Academy of Sciences. Aumann received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2005 for his work on conflict and cooperation through gametheory analysis.
More Mathematics Biographies
Famous Mathematicians  Biographies and Contributions
Biographies of Math  allmath.com
Mathematicians and Statisticians  Fact Monster
Famous Mathematicians
Historical Tidbits  Seton Hall
The MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive  St Andrews
Periodic Table of Mathematicians  Erich Friedman, Stetson University
Prime Encyclopedia
Mathematicians  Eric Weisstein
The History of Mathematics  Trinity College
Notable Mathematicians  USNA
Women in Math Project  Marie Vitulli, Department of Mathematics University of Oregon
