Mathematicians Of The Day

18th October

Michael Stifel predicted that on this day in 1533 a chariot would touch down on a nearby hilltop and conduct him and his followers to heaven. Followers of the mathematical mystic quit their jobs, but as the day approached they became skeptical. Stifel convinced the local constabulary to lock him in jail on the appointed date where he would be safe from his ruined, irate parishioners.

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Quotation of the day

From Charles Babbage
On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.