Robert Hooke FRS was an English natural philosopher and polymath. His adult life comprised three distinct periods: as a scientific inquirer lacking money. At one time he was the curator of experiments of the Royal Society, a member of its council, Gresham Professor of Geometry, Surveyor to the City of London after the Great Fire of London, he was an important architect of his time – though few of his buildings now survive and some of those are misattributed – and was instrumental in devising a set of planning controls for London whose influence remains today. Allan Chapman has characterised him as "England's Leonardo". Hooke studied at Wadham College, Oxford during the Protectorate where he became one of a knit group of ardent Royalists led by John Wilkins. Here he was employed as an assistant to Thomas Willis and to Robert Boyle, for whom he built the vacuum pumps used in Boyle's gas law experiments, conducted the experiments themselves, he observed the rotations of Mars and Jupiter. In 1665 he inspired the use of microscopes for scientific exploration with Micrographia.
Based on his microscopic observations of fossils, Hooke was an early proponent of biological evolution. He investigated the phenomenon of refraction, deducing the wave theory of light, was the first to suggest that matter expands when heated and that air is made of small particles separated by large distances, he proposed. He performed pioneering work in the field of surveying and map-making and was involved in the work that led to the first modern plan-form map, though his plan for London on a grid system was rejected in favour of rebuilding along the existing routes, he came near to an experimental proof that gravity follows an inverse square law, first hypothesised that such a relation governs the motions of the planets, an idea, developed by Isaac Newton, formed part of a dispute between the two which caused Newton to try to erase Hooke's legacy. He originated the terraqueous globe theory of geology, disputed the literal Biblical account of the age of the earth, hypothesised the idea of extinction, wrote numerous times of the likelihood that fossils on hill and mountain tops had been raised there by "earthquakes", a general term of the time for geological processes.
Much of Hooke's scientific work was conducted in his capacity as curator of experiments of the Royal Society, a post he held from 1662, or as part of the household of Robert Boyle. Much of what is known of Hooke's early life comes from an autobiography that he commenced in 1696 but never completed. Richard Waller mentions it in his introduction to The Posthumous Works of Robert Hooke, M. D. S. R. S. Printed in 1705. In the chapter Of Dr. Dee's Book of Spirits, Hooke argues that John Dee made use of Trithemian steganography, to conceal his communication with Queen Elizabeth I; the work of Waller, along with John Ward's Lives of the Gresham Professors and John Aubrey's Brief Lives, form the major near-contemporaneous biographical accounts of Hooke. Robert Hooke was born in 1635 in Freshwater on the Isle of Wight to Cecily Gyles. Robert was the last of four children, two boys and two girls, there was an age difference of seven years between him and the next youngest, their father John was a Church of England priest, the curate of Freshwater's Church of All Saints, his two brothers were ministers.
Robert Hooke was expected to join the Church. John Hooke was in charge of a local school, so was able to teach Robert, at least at home due to the boy's frail health, he was a Royalist and certainly a member of a group who went to pay their respects to Charles I when he escaped to the Isle of Wight. Robert, grew up to be a staunch monarchist; as a youth, Robert Hooke was fascinated by observation, mechanical works, drawing, interests that he would pursue in various ways throughout his life. He dismantled a brass clock and built a wooden replica that, by all accounts, worked "well enough", he learned to draw, making his own materials from coal and ruddle. On his father's death in 1648, Robert was left a sum of forty pounds that enabled him to buy an apprenticeship. Hooke was an apt student, so although he went to London to take up an apprenticeship, studied with Samuel Cowper and Peter Lely, he was soon able to enter Westminster School in London, under Dr. Richard Busby. Hooke mastered Latin and Greek, made some study of Hebrew, mastered Euclid's Elements.
Here, too, he embarked on his lifelong study of mechanics. It appears that Hooke was one of a group of students whom Busby educated in parallel to the main work of the school. Contemporary accounts say he was "not much seen" in the school, this appears to be true of others in a similar position. Busby, an ardent and outspoken Royalist, was by all accounts trying to pre
Probability is the measure of the likelihood that an event will occur. See glossary of probability and statistics. Probability quantifies as a number between 0 and 1, loosely speaking, 0 indicates impossibility and 1 indicates certainty; the higher the probability of an event, the more it is that the event will occur. A simple example is the tossing of a fair coin. Since the coin is fair, the two outcomes are both probable; these concepts have been given an axiomatic mathematical formalization in probability theory, used in such areas of study as mathematics, finance, science, artificial intelligence/machine learning, computer science, game theory, philosophy to, for example, draw inferences about the expected frequency of events. Probability theory is used to describe the underlying mechanics and regularities of complex systems; when dealing with experiments that are random and well-defined in a purely theoretical setting, probabilities can be numerically described by the number of desired outcomes divided by the total number of all outcomes.
For example, tossing a fair coin twice will yield "head-head", "head-tail", "tail-head", "tail-tail" outcomes. The probability of getting an outcome of "head-head" is 1 out of 4 outcomes, or, in numerical terms, 1/4, 0.25 or 25%. However, when it comes to practical application, there are two major competing categories of probability interpretations, whose adherents possess different views about the fundamental nature of probability: Objectivists assign numbers to describe some objective or physical state of affairs; the most popular version of objective probability is frequentist probability, which claims that the probability of a random event denotes the relative frequency of occurrence of an experiment's outcome, when repeating the experiment. This interpretation considers probability to be the relative frequency "in the long run" of outcomes. A modification of this is propensity probability, which interprets probability as the tendency of some experiment to yield a certain outcome if it is performed only once.
Subjectivists assign numbers per subjective probability. The degree of belief has been interpreted as, "the price at which you would buy or sell a bet that pays 1 unit of utility if E, 0 if not E." The most popular version of subjective probability is Bayesian probability, which includes expert knowledge as well as experimental data to produce probabilities. The expert knowledge is represented by some prior probability distribution; these data are incorporated in a likelihood function. The product of the prior and the likelihood, results in a posterior probability distribution that incorporates all the information known to date. By Aumann's agreement theorem, Bayesian agents whose prior beliefs are similar will end up with similar posterior beliefs. However, sufficiently different priors can lead to different conclusions regardless of how much information the agents share; the word probability derives from the Latin probabilitas, which can mean "probity", a measure of the authority of a witness in a legal case in Europe, correlated with the witness's nobility.
In a sense, this differs much from the modern meaning of probability, which, in contrast, is a measure of the weight of empirical evidence, is arrived at from inductive reasoning and statistical inference. The scientific study of probability is a modern development of mathematics. Gambling shows that there has been an interest in quantifying the ideas of probability for millennia, but exact mathematical descriptions arose much later. There are reasons for the slow development of the mathematics of probability. Whereas games of chance provided the impetus for the mathematical study of probability, fundamental issues are still obscured by the superstitions of gamblers. According to Richard Jeffrey, "Before the middle of the seventeenth century, the term'probable' meant approvable, was applied in that sense, unequivocally, to opinion and to action. A probable action or opinion was one such as sensible people would undertake or hold, in the circumstances." However, in legal contexts especially,'probable' could apply to propositions for which there was good evidence.
The sixteenth century Italian polymath Gerolamo Cardano demonstrated the efficacy of defining odds as the ratio of favourable to unfavourable outcomes. Aside from the elementary work by Cardano, the doctrine of probabilities dates to the correspondence of Pierre de Fermat and Blaise Pascal. Christiaan Huygens gave the earliest known scientific treatment of the subject. Jakob Bernoulli's Ars Conjectandi and Abraham de Moivre's Doctrine of Chances treated the subject as a branch of mathematics. See Ian Hacking's The Emergence of Probability and James Franklin's The Science of Conjecture for histories of the early development of the concept of mathematical probability; the theory of errors may be traced back to Roger Cotes's Opera Miscellanea, but a memoir prepared by Thomas Simpson in 1755 first applied the theory to the discussion of errors of observation. The reprint of this memoir lays down the axioms that positive and negative errors are probable, that certain assignable limits define the range of all errors.
Simpson discusses c
Nicolas Malebranche, Oratory of Jesus, was a French Oratorian priest and rationalist philosopher. In his works, he sought to synthesize the thought of St. Augustine and Descartes, in order to demonstrate the active role of God in every aspect of the world. Malebranche is best known for his doctrines of vision in God and ontologism. Malebranche was born in Paris in 1638, the youngest child of Nicolas Malebranche, secretary to King Louis XIII of France, Catherine de Lauzon, sister of Jean de Lauson, a Governor of New France; because of a malformed spine, Malebranche received his elementary education from a private tutor. He left home at the age of sixteen to pursue a course of philosophy at the Collège de la Marche, subsequently to study theology at the Collège de Sorbonne, both colleges from the University of Paris, he left the Sorbonne, having rejected scholasticism, entered the Oratory in 1660. There, he devoted himself to ecclesiastical history, the Bible, the works of Saint Augustine. Malebranche was ordained a priest in 1664.
In 1664, Malebranche first read Descartes' Treatise on Man, an account of the physiology of the human body. Malebranche’s biographer, Father Yves André reported that Malebranche was influenced by Descartes’ book because it allowed him to view the natural world without Aristotelian scholasticism. Malebranche spent the next decade studying the Cartesian system. In 1674–75, Malebranche published the two volumes of his first and most extensive philosophical work. Entitled Concerning the Search after Truth. In, treated the nature of the human mind and the use that must be made of it to avoid error in the sciences, the book laid the foundation for Malebranche’s philosophical reputation and ideas, it dealt on how to avoid such mistakes. Most in the third book, which discussed pure understanding, he defended a claim that the ideas through which we perceive objects exist in God. Malebranche's first critic was the Abbé Simon Foucher, who attacked the Search before its second volume had been published. Malebranche replied in a short preface added to that second volume, in the 1678 third edition, he added 50% to the considerable size of the book with a sequence of seventeen Elucidations.
These responded to further criticisms, but they expanded on the original arguments, developed them in new ways. In the Tenth Elucidation, for instance, Malebranche introduced his theory of "intelligible extension", a single, archetypal idea of extension into which the ideas of all particular kinds of bodies could be jointly resolved. In others, Malebranche placed a greater emphasis than he had done on his occasionalist account of causation, on his contention that God acted for the most part through "general volitions" and only as in the case of miracles, through "particular volitions". Malebranche expanded on this last point in 1680 when he published Treatise on Grace. Here, he made it explicit that the generality of the laws whereby God regulated His behaviour extended not only to His activity in the natural world but applied to His gift of grace to human beings; the book was attacked by fellow Cartesian philosopher, Antoine Arnauld, although Arnauld's initial concerns were theological ones, the bitter dispute which ensued quickly branched out into most other areas of their respective systems.
Over the next few years, the two men wrote enough polemics against one other to fill four volumes of Malebranche's collected works and three of Arnauld's. Arnauld's supporters managed to persuade the Roman Catholic Church to place Nature and Grace on its Index of Prohibited Books in 1690, it was followed there by the Search nineteen years later. Other critics with whom Malebranche entered into significant discussion include another fellow Cartesian, Pierre Sylvain Regis, as well as Dortous de Mairan. De Mairan was sympathetic to the views of Baruch Spinoza, felt that he had found similar views in his reading of Malebranche: Malebranche assiduously resisted such an association. 1638 - Born in Paris to Nicolas Malebranche and Catherine de Lauzon. 1654 - Enters the Collège de la Marche and the Sorbonne to study philosophy and theology. 1660 - Ordained as a member of the French Oratory. 1664 - First reads Descartes' Treatise on Man and spends the next ten years studying philosophy. 1674–75 - Publishes The Search After Truth.
1678 - Adds Elucidations to new edition of the Search. 1680 - Publishes Treatise Of Nature And Grace. 1683 - Publishes Christian and Metaphysical Meditations. Arnauld publishes On the opening salvo in their dispute. 1684 - Publishes Treatise On Ethics. 1688 - Publishes Dialogues On Metaphysics And Religion. 1690 - Treatise Of Nature And Grace is placed on the Index of Prohibited Books. 1694 - Death of Arnauld. 1708 - Publishes Dialogue Between A Christian Philosopher And A Chinese Philosopher. 1709 - The Search After Truth is placed on the Index. 1713–14 - Correspondence with Dortous de Mairan on Spinozism. 1715 - Malebranche dies. Just as all human action is dependent on God, so too is all human cognition. Malebranche argued that human knowledge is dependent on divine understanding in a way analogous to that in which the motion of bodies is dependent on divine will. Like René Descartes, Malebranche held that humans attain knowledge through ideas – immaterial re
Europe is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Since around 1850, Europe is most considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although the term "continent" implies physical geography, the land border is somewhat arbitrary and has been redefined several times since its first conception in classical antiquity; the division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural and ethnic differences which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The geographic border does not follow political boundaries, with Turkey and Kazakhstan being transcontinental countries. A strict application of the Caucasus Mountains boundary places two comparatively small countries and Georgia, in both continents.
Europe covers 2 % of the Earth's surface. Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million as of 2016; the European climate is affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization; the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and Spain, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas all of Africa and Oceania and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the subsequent French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic and social change in Western Europe and the wider world. Both world wars took place for the most part in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1949 the Council of Europe was founded, following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals, it includes all European states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation.
The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most used among Europeans. In classical Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess; the word Europe is derived from her name. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ "eye, countenance", hence their composite Eurṓpē would mean "wide-gazing" or "broad of aspect". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" or Phoenician'ereb "evening, west", at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Michael A. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia.
The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή. Martin Litchfield West stated that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is poor." Next to these hypotheses there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning "darkness", which produced Greek Erebus. Most major world languages use words derived from Europa to refer to the continent. Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu. In some Turkic languages the Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa; the prevalent definition of Europe as a geographical term has been in use since the mid-19th century. Europe is taken to be bounded by large bodies of water
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was a prominent German polymath and philosopher in the history of mathematics and the history of philosophy. His most notable accomplishment was conceiving the ideas of differential and integral calculus, independently of Isaac Newton's contemporaneous developments. Mathematical works have always favored Leibniz's notation as the conventional expression of calculus, while Newton's notation became unused, it was only in the 20th century that Leibniz's law of continuity and transcendental law of homogeneity found mathematical implementation. He became one of the most prolific inventors in the field of mechanical calculators. While working on adding automatic multiplication and division to Pascal's calculator, he was the first to describe a pinwheel calculator in 1685 and invented the Leibniz wheel, used in the arithmometer, the first mass-produced mechanical calculator, he refined the binary number system, the foundation of all digital computers. In philosophy, Leibniz is most noted for his optimism, i.e. his conclusion that our universe is, in a restricted sense, the best possible one that God could have created, an idea, lampooned by others such as Voltaire.
Leibniz, along with René Descartes and Baruch Spinoza, was one of the three great 17th-century advocates of rationalism. The work of Leibniz anticipated modern logic and analytic philosophy, but his philosophy looks back to the scholastic tradition, in which conclusions are produced by applying reason to first principles or prior definitions rather than to empirical evidence. Leibniz made major contributions to physics and technology, anticipated notions that surfaced much in philosophy, probability theory, medicine, psychology and computer science, he wrote works on philosophy, law, theology and philology. Leibniz contributed to the field of library science. While serving as overseer of the Wolfenbüttel library in Germany, he devised a cataloging system that would serve as a guide for many of Europe's largest libraries. Leibniz's contributions to this vast array of subjects were scattered in various learned journals, in tens of thousands of letters, in unpublished manuscripts, he wrote in several languages, but in Latin and German.
There is no complete gathering of the writings of Leibniz translated into English. Gottfried Leibniz was born on 1 July 1646, toward the end of the Thirty Years' War, in Leipzig, Saxony, to Friedrich Leibniz and Catharina Schmuck. Friedrich noted in his family journal: 21. Juny am Sontag 1646 Ist mein Sohn Gottfried Wilhelm, post sextam vespertinam 1/4 uff 7 uhr abents zur welt gebohren, im Wassermann. In English: On Sunday 21 June 1646, my son Gottfried Wilhelm is born into the world a quarter before seven in the evening, in Aquarius. Leibniz was baptized on 3 July of that year at Leipzig, his father died when he was six years old, from that point on he was raised by his mother. Leibniz's father had been a Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Leipzig, the boy inherited his father's personal library, he was given free access to it from the age of seven. While Leibniz's schoolwork was confined to the study of a small canon of authorities, his father's library enabled him to study a wide variety of advanced philosophical and theological works—ones that he would not have otherwise been able to read until his college years.
Access to his father's library written in Latin led to his proficiency in the Latin language, which he achieved by the age of 12. He composed 300 hexameters of Latin verse, in a single morning, for a special event at school at the age of 13. In April 1661 he enrolled in his father's former university at age 14, completed his bachelor's degree in Philosophy in December 1662, he defended his Disputatio Metaphysica de Principio Individui, which addressed the principle of individuation, on 9 June 1663. Leibniz earned his master's degree in Philosophy on 7 February 1664, he published and defended a dissertation Specimen Quaestionum Philosophicarum ex Jure collectarum, arguing for both a theoretical and a pedagogical relationship between philosophy and law, in December 1664. After one year of legal studies, he was awarded his bachelor's degree in Law on 28 September 1665, his dissertation was titled De conditionibus. In early 1666, at age 19, Leibniz wrote his first book, De Arte Combinatoria, the first part of, his habilitation thesis in Philosophy, which he defended in March 1666.
His next goal was to earn his license and Doctorate in Law, which required three years of study. In 1666, the University of Leipzig turned down Leibniz's doctoral application and refused to grant him a Doctorate in Law, most due to his relative youth. Leibniz subsequently left Leipzig. Leibniz enrolled in the University of Altdorf and submitted a thesis, which he had been working on earlier in Leipzig; the title of his thesis was Disputatio Inauguralis de Casibus Perplexis in Jure. Leibniz earned his license to practice law and his Doctorate in Law in November 1666, he next declined the offer of an academic appointment at Altdorf, saying that "my thoughts were turned in an different direction". As an adult, Leibniz often
University of Basel
The University of Basel is located in Basel, Switzerland. Founded on 4 April 1460, it is Switzerland's oldest university and among the world's oldest surviving universities; the university is traditionally counted among the leading institutions of higher learning in the country. The associated Basel University Library is the largest and among the most important libraries in the country; the university hosts the faculties of theology, medicine and social sciences, science and business and economics, as well as numerous cross-disciplinary subjects and institutes, such as the Biozentrum for biomedical research and the Institute for European Global Studies. In 2016, the University boasted 377 professors. International students accounted for 24 percent of the student body. In its over 500-year history the university has been home to Erasmus of Rotterdam, Daniel Bernoulli, Leonhard Euler, Jacob Burckhardt, Friedrich Nietzsche, Tadeusz Reichstein, Karl Jaspers, Carl Gustav Jung, Karl Barth and Jeanne Hersch.
The institution is associated with nine Nobel prize winners and two Presidents of the Swiss Confederation. The University of Basel was founded in connection with the Council of Basel; the deed of foundation given in the form of a Papal bull by Pope Pius II on November 12, 1459, the official opening ceremony was held on April 4, 1460. The University of Basel was decreed to have four faculties—arts, medicine and jurisprudence; the faculty of arts served until 1818 as the foundation for the other three academic subjects. In the eighteenth century as Basel became more commercial, the university, one of the centres of learning in the Renaissance, slipped into insignificance. Enrollment, over a thousand around 1600, dropped to sixty in 1785 with eighteen professors; the professors themselves were sons of the elite. Over the course of centuries as many scholars came to the city, Basel became an early centre of book printing and humanism. Around the same time as the university itself, the Basel University Library was founded.
Today it is the largest library in Switzerland. Located in what was once a politically volatile area, the University's fate ebbed and flowed with regional political developments, including the Reformation, the Kantonstrennung, both World Wars; these factors affected student attendance, university-government relations. In 1833 the Canton of Basel split in two with the Federal Diet requiring that the canton's assets, including the books at the University library, be divided—two-thirds going to the new half canton of Basel-Landschaft; the city, Basel-Stadt, had to buy back this share and the university became so impoverished that it drastically reduced its course offerings. Students were expected to continue their education after two years or so at a German university. Student enrollment surged after the University shed its medieval curriculum and began to add more faculties those in the humanities and sciences. Liberal Arts became a faculty in 1818, from which the Philosophy and History and Natural History faculties were derived in 1937.
The University subsequently established the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Business and Economics, the Faculty of Psychology. During the 20th century, the University grew from one thousand students in 1918 to eight thousand in 1994; the first woman, admitted to the University, Emilie Frey, began her medical studies in 1890. After the seizure of power in the year 1933 by the Nazis, numerous renowned German professors decided to emigrate to Basel and started to work at the University of Basel. Several Swiss scholars returned, inter alia the Law Professor Arthur Baumgarten, the Theologians Karl Barth and Fritz Lieb and after World War II the Philosopher Karl Jaspers from Heidelberg University, as well as the surgeon Rudolf Nissen. On January 1, 1996, the University of Basel became independent from the cantonal government and thus earned its right to self-government. In 2007, the Canton of Basel-Landschaft voted in favor to share the sponsorship of the University in parity with the Canton Basel-Stadt.
Well-respected rankings attest to the University of Basel's international academic performance: Times Higher Education World University Ranking: 95 Leiden Ranking: 45 Academic Ranking of World Universities: 96 Since January 1, 1996, the University of Basel has been independent. The University Law of 1995 stipulates that, “The University of Basel is an institution established under public law, it has its own legal personality and right to self-government.” As the entity that formally receives the Performance Mandate for the University from both supporting cantons, the University Council is the supreme decision-making body of the University. The Council consists of eleven voting members and three non-voting members, including the President, the Executive Director, the Secretary of the Council. Beneath the University Council are the President's Board; the 80-member Senate consists of the senior members of the President's Board, faculty deans, professors and research assistants, assistants and administrative and technical employees.
The President's Office is tasked with leading the overall university business. It consists of the President and her staff, a General Secretariat, an Administrative Directorate, the Communications and Marketing Office, two respective Vice-Presidents for Research and Education
Frans van Schooten
Franciscus van Schooten was a Dutch mathematician, most known for popularizing the analytic geometry of René Descartes. Van Schooten's father was a professor of mathematics at the University of Leiden, having Christiaan Huygens, Johann van Waveren Hudde, René de Sluze as students. Van Schooten read his Géométrie while it was still unpublished. Finding it hard to understand, he went to France to study the works of other important mathematicians of his time, such as François Viète and Pierre de Fermat; when Frans van Schooten returned to his home in Leiden in 1646, he inherited his father's position and one of his most important pupils, Huygens. The pendant marriage portraits of him and his wife Margrieta Wijnants were painted by Rembrandt and are kept in the National Gallery of Art: Van Schooten's 1649 Latin translation of and commentary on Descartes' Géométrie was valuable in that it made the work comprensible to the broader mathematical community, thus was responsible for the spread of analytic geometry to the world.
Over the next decade he enlisted the aid of other mathematicians of the time, de Beaune, Heuraet, de Witt and expanded the commentaries to two volumes, published in 1659 and 1661. This edition and its extensive commentaries was far more influential than the 1649 edition, it was this edition that Gottfried Isaac Newton knew. Van Schooten was one of the first to suggest, in exercises published in 1657, that these ideas be extended to three-dimensional space. Van Schooten's efforts made Leiden the centre of the mathematical community for a short period in the middle of the seventeenth century. In elementary geometry Van Schooten's theorem is named after him; some Contemporaries of Descartes, Fermat and Huygens: Van Schooten, based on W. W. Rouse Ball's A Short Account of the History of Mathematics Mathematische Oeffeningen van Frans van Schooten Biografisch Woordenboek van Nederlandse Wiskundigen: Frans van Schooten Frans van Schooten, his Ruler Constructions at Convergence O'Connor, John J.. An e-textbook developed from Frans van Schooten 1646 by dbook