Mathematicians Of The Day

23rd August

On this day in 1638, René Descartes, in a letter to Mersenne, proposed his folium (x3+y3=2axyx^3 + y^3 = 2axy) as a test case to challenge Fermat's differentiation techniques. To Descartes' embarrassment, Fermat's method worked better than his own.

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Quotation of the day

From Charles Augustin Coulomb
On graduating from school, a studious young man who would withstand the tedium and monotony of his duties has no choice but to lose himself in some branch of science or literature completely irrelevant to his assignment.