Mathematicians Of The Day

14th June

On this day in 1822, Charles Babbage read a paper to the London Astronomical Society entitled Note on the application of machinery to the computation of astronomical and mathematical tables. He announced the successful completion of his Difference engine, the forerunner of our modern computers.

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Quotation of the day

From Colin Maclaurin
[writing to Stirling in 1740]
... an unlucky accident happened to some of the French mathematicians in Peru. It seems that they were shewing French gallantry to the natives' wives, who have murdered their servants, destroyed their instruments and burnt their papers, the Gentlemen escaping narrowly themselves. What an ugly article this will make in a journal.
Quoted in C Tweedie, James Stirling (Oxford 1922)