Mathematicians Of The Day

5th August

On this day in 1900, the engineer Frank Baldwin was awarded a U.S. Patent for his mechanical calculator. This machine was capable of doing a calculation such as 54679285×3298=18033228193054679285 \times 3298 = 180332281930 in about 20 seconds with eight turns of the handle.

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Quotation of the day

From Niels Abel
The mathematicians have been very much absorbed with finding the general solution of algebraic equations, and several of them have tried to prove the impossibility of it. However, if I am not mistaken, they have not as yet succeeded. I therefore dare hope that the mathematicians will receive this memoir with good will, for its purpose is to fill this gap in the theory of algebraic equations.
Opening of Memoir on algebraic equations, proving the impossibility of a solution of the general equation of the fifth degree (1824)