College Mathematics

Mathematicians: Making numerous contributions

By

Bonnie Jodoin

Presented to

Professor Combs

A paper presented to Florida Technical College in partial fulfillment

Of the requirements

for the Associate of Science Degree

Presented on

12/17/2001

Title

Mathematicians: Making numerous contributions

Thesis Statement

This report will focus on the professional field of mathematicians. It will highlight some of the history, responsibilities, opportunities, and requirements of this occupation.

Outline

I.Introduction

A.A condensed history of mathematics

B.Famous mathematicians and their accomplishments

II.Body

A.Opportunities for mathematicians

B.Education and training

C.Requirements

D.Earnings

III.Conclusion

A.Good mathematicians are problem solvers

Mathematicians: Making numerous contributions

A mathematician is described as someone who uses logic or theory to solve problems. Mathematicians and their craft have been making milestones in history ever since the Neanderthal man became homo - sapiens and began communicating, with the use of speech. The first period of time in the history of mathematics is known as the Chinese / Egyptian / Babylonian Period. This era starts in 50,000 B.C., and reaches to 601 B.C. During this primitive age, man used notches in bones, and clay tokens for counting. Sundials were used as a method of telling time and keeping track of the days. The most infamous mathematician from this time was Ahmes of papyrus. Ahmes was the author of the Egyptian scribe "The Rhind papyrus"; it is one of the oldest mathematical documents in existence. The Greek Period (600B.C. 499 A.D.) took mathematics far beyond the realm of counting and measuring time. The Greeks brought a variety of great minds to life, including Thales of Miletus, Archimedes, Apollonius, Euclid, and Democritus. They began using logic to explore new mathematical concepts. Pythagoras of Samos was one of the foremost logical minds of this age. He is the inventor of abstract mathematics, and the founder of the "Pythagoras Theorem". This theorem is still used today, in modern geometric equations The Hindu / Arabian Period (500A.D. 1199A.D.), gave us Aryabhata the Elder and Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khowarizmi. Al-Khowarizmi wrote a very important Egyptian book titled "Al-jabr" His book helped to advance the study of algebra, and is responsible for coining the term we now know as algebra. This time period donated very few mathematical masterminds, however the contributions of this period are equally important Some of the more renowned names in the Transition Period (1200A.D. 1599A.D.) are John Napier, Ludolf van Ceulen, Robert Recorde, and Simon Stevin. Leon Alberti wrote a revolutionary book, it described a method of achieving a more logical perspective in a mathematical manner. His book was a forerunner of projective geometry. In the 1500s many great astronomers such as Galileo, Copernicus, and Kepler showed that mathematics could be used to analyze the movements of the heavens. This discovery helped to make several breakthroughs in the following period. Within the time Shakespeare began writing his first play, and the pilgrims landed in the new Plymouth Colony, the Century of Enlightenment (1600A.D.-1699A.D.) was dawning. It is during this period that Rene Descartes and Pierre de Fermat discovered how to solve geometric problems with algebra. This discovery gave birth to analytic geometry. Fermats other accomplishments also include the development of a theory on prime numbers. This theory and other theories helped to generate the probability theory. Late in the 17th century, Gottfried Leibnez was hard at work on the development of differential and integral calculus He published his work in 1684. Isaac Newton independently made the same discovery. However, he did not publish his findings until a later date. This is what started the biggest mathematical battle of...