Mathematicians Of The Day

6th April

On this day in 1846, James Clerk Maxwell's paper On the description of oval curves, and those having a plurality of foci was read to the Royal Society of Edinburgh. These ideas were not entirely new as Descartes had defined such curves before but the work was remarkable for a 14 year old.

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Quotation of the day

From Niels Abel
[About Gauss' mathematical writing style]
He is like the fox, who effaces his tracks in the sand with his tail.
Quoted in G F Simmons, Calculus Gems (New York 1992).