The Week in Math: August

Here are the highlights from the historical world of mathematics for the month of August.  While this list is not meant to be all-encompassing, I have tried to pick out those things that I find most interesting.

August 1:

Math News: In 1767, Mason and Dixon finish drawing the famous Mason-Dixon Line.  (See MathDL for details.)

August 2:

Math News:  In 1939, Einstein writes his famous letter to Roosevelt concerning the studies of Fermi and Szilard into nuclear chain reactions.  (See a great applet here.)  This letter serves as the catalyst for The Manhattan Project.  (See MathDL for details.)

August 3:

Birthdays: Mark Kac (1914-1984), Artemas Martin (1835-1918)

Deaths: Georg Frobenius (1849-1917)

August 4:

Birthdays: Sir William Hamilton (1805-1865)

August 5:

Birthdays: Niels Abel (1802-1829)

August 6:

Math News: In 1945, the U.S. drops the first atomic bomb over Hiroshima, Japan.  (See MathDL for details.)

Birthdays: John Wilson (1741-1793)

Deaths: Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro (1853-1925), Atle Selberg (1917-2007), Andre Weil (1906-1998)

August 8:

Birthdays: Paul Dirac (1902-1984), Roger Penrose (1931-present)

Deaths: Josef Hoene Wronski (1778-1853)

August 9:

Deaths:  John Fields (1863-1932)

August 10:

Math News: In 1548, with a large crowd watching, Tartaglia and Ferrari debate the results of a contest involving the solutions to the generalized cubic and quartic equations.  (See MathDL for details.)

Deaths: Oswald Veblen (1880-1960)

August 12:

Math News:  In 1755, Lagrange writes a letter to Euler summarizing his work on the calculus of variations and isoperimetry.  (See MathDL for details.)

Birthdays: Martin Bartels (1769-1836), Jules Richard (1862-1956), Erwin Schrödinger (1887-1961)

August 13:

Birthdays: George Stokes (1819-1903)

Deaths: Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), Oystein Ore (1899-1968), Philipp von Seidel (1821-1896)

August 14:

Birthdays: Charles de la Vallee Poussin (1866-1962)

August 15:

Birthdays: Louis de Broglie (1892-1987)

Deaths: Jacob (II) Bernoulli (1759-1789), Edward Waring (1736-1798)

August 16:

Birthdays: Arthur Cayley (1821-1895)

Deaths:  Jacob Bernoulli (1654-1705)

August 17:

Birthdays: Pierre de Fermat (1601-1665) – Click here to see Google’s salute to FermatGiovanni Ricci (1904-1973)

August 18:

Birthdays: Brook Taylor (1685-1731), Paul Turan (1910-1976)

August 19:

Deaths: George Gamow (1904-1968), Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

August 20:

Math News: In 1955, the 2500th anniversary of the Pythagorean School of Philosophy is celebrated on the island of Samos.  (See MathDL for details.)

Birthdays: Thomas Simpson (1710-1761)

August 21:

Birthdays: Augustin Louis Cauchy (1789-1857)

Deaths: Claude Louis Navier (1785-1836), Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (1910-1995)

August 23:

Math News: In 1638, Descartes writes a letter to Mersenne proposing a problem to challenge the differentiation techniques of Fermat.  Unfortunately for Descartes, Fermat’s techniques work perfectly.  (See MathDL for details.)

Birthdays: Josef Hoene Wronski (1778-1853)

Deaths:  Charles Augustin Coulomb (1736-1806)

August 24:

Math News:  In 1654, Pascal writes to Fermat asking Fermat to critique Pascal’s solution to the Problem of Points. (SeeMathDL for details.)

August 25:

Deaths: Michael Faraday (1791-1867)

August 26:

Birthdays: Johann Lambert (1728-1777)

August 27:

Birthdays: Giuseppe Peano (1858-1932)

August 28:

Birthdays: Maxime Bocher (1867-1918)

August 29:

Math News:  In 1831, Michael Faraday discovers the law of electromagnetic induction.  (See MathDL for details.)

August 30:

Math News: In 1908, a committee appointed by the Swiss Society of Naturalists agrees to publish The Opera Omnia – the complete works of Euler.  (See MathDL for details.)

August 31:

Math News:  In 1682, Michele Rolle gains public recognition when he publishes his solution to the problem proposed byJacques Ozanam:  “find four integers the difference of any two of which is a perfect square as well as the sum of three of the numbers.”  In 1899, Cantor writes to Dedekind stating that his diagonal process can be applied to the problem of proving that “the power set of a set has more elements than the set itself.”  In 1950, Godel presents his work on The Theory of Relativity to the International Congress of Mathematics.  (See MathDL for details.)

Birthdays: Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894)

Deaths: Stefan Banach (1892-1945)



References: If you are interested in additional facts or birthdays, please visit the sites that I used to generate these lists:


3 Responses to The Week in Math: August

  1. Pingback: The Month in Math: July/August | Musings on Math

  2. Pingback: The Month in Math: August/September | Musings on Math

  3. Pingback: The Month in Math: August | Musings on Math

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: