Mathematicians Of The Day

31st August

On this day in 1682, Michael Rolle published an elegant solution to a difficult problem publicly posed by Ozanam:
Find four integers the difference of any two of which is a perfect square as well as the sum of the first three will be a perfect square.
This brought him public recognition.

Click on for a poster.

Quotation of the day

From Herbert Turnbull
The usefulness of mathematics in furthering the sciences is commonly acknowledged: but outside the ranks of the experts there is little enquiry into its nature and purpose as a deliberate human activity.
Preface to The Great Mathematicians (London 1929)