# The Week in Math: October

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

**October 1:**

*Deaths:* Robert Simson (1687-1768)

**October 2:**

*Math News:* In 1667, Newton is elected a fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. (See MathDL for details.)

*Deaths:* Paul Halmos (1916-2006) – *Click here to read my post about Halmos*

**October 3:**

*Math News:* In 1842, Arthur Cayley becomes the youngest fellow (21 years old) at Trinity College, Cambridge. (See MathDLfor details.)

*Deaths:* Edouard Lucas (1842-1891)

**October 4:**

*Math News:* In 1957, Sputnik is launched. (See MathDL for details.)

*Birthdays:* Wilhelm Weber (1804-1891)

*Deaths:* R. L. Moore (1882-1974), Max Planck (1858-1947)

**October 5:**

*Birthdays:* Bernard Bolzano (1781-1848), Thomas Little Heath (1861-1940)

*Deaths:* Ludwig Boltzmann (1844-1906), Lodovico Ferrari (1522-1565)

**October 6:**

*Birthdays:* Richard Dedekind (1831-1916)

**October 7:**

*Birthdays:* Niels Bohr (1885-1962), Oystein Ore (1899-1968)

*Deaths:* Rudolf Lipschitz (1832-1903)

**October 9:**

*Birthdays:* Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806), Karl Schwarzschild (1873-1916)

*Deaths:* Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806)

**October 10:**

*Deaths:* David Gregory (1659-1708)

**October 11:**

*Birthdays:* Samuel Clarke (1675-1729)

*Deaths:* Gotthold Eisenstein (1823-1852), Vito Volterra (1860-1940)

**October 13:**

*Math News:* In 1729, Euler writes to Goldbach, briefly discussing the Gamma Function. (See MathDL for details.)

*Deaths:* William Hopkins (1793-1866)

**October 14:**

*Birthdays:* Robert Simson (1687-1768)

*Deaths:* Benoit Mandelbrot (1924-2010), Jules Richard (1862-1956)

**October 15:**

*Birthdays:* Evangelista Torricelli (1608-1647)

**October 16:**

*Math News:* In 1707, Roger Cotes is elected the first Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy at Cambridge. In 1797, Gauss writes in his diary that he has discovered a new proof of the Pythagorean Theorem. In 1843, Sir William Hamilton invents quaternions during a walk along the Royal Canal in Dublin. So excited, he uses his pocketknife to scratch the multiplication formulas on the side of Brougham Bridge. (See MathDL for details.)

**October 17:**

*Birthdays: *Jacob(II) Bernoulli (1759-1789)

*Deaths:* Gustav Kirchhoff (1824-1887), Frank Morley (1860-1937), Jacques Hadamard (1865-1963)

**October 18:**

*Math News:* In 1640, Fermat first mentions his Little Theorem in a letter to Frenicle de Bessey. In 1921, Bohr introduces the world to the Bohr Model – his quantum model of the atom. (See MathDL for details.)

*Deaths:* John Wilson (1741-1793)

**October 19:**

*Birthdays:* Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (1910-1995)

**October 20:**

*Deaths:* Paul Dirac (1902-1984)

**October 21:**

*Birthdays:* Nicolaus(I) Bernoulli (1687-1759), Martin Gardner (1914-2010)

*Deaths:* Waclaw Sierpinski (1882-1969)

**October 24:**

*Math News:* In 1676, Newton writes a summary for Leibniz regarding the development of fluxions and power series. (SeeMathDL for details.)

*Birthdays: *Philipp von Seidel (1821-1896), Wilhelm Weber (1804-1891)

*Deaths:* Tycho Brahe (1546-1601)

**October 25:**

*Math News:* In 1713, Leibniz writes to Johann Bernoulli stating that an alternating series whose terms monotonically decrease to zero in absolute value is convergent (Alternating Series Test). (See MathDL for details.)

*Birthdays:* Evariste Galois (1811-1832)

*Deaths:* Giovanni Saccheri (1667-1733), Evangelista Torricelli (1608-1647)

**October 26:**

*Birthdays:* Georg Frobenius (1849-1917)

*Deaths:* Mark Kac (1914-1984)

**October 27:**

*Math News:* In 1654, Pascal writes to Fermat, complimenting him for his solution to the Problem of Points. (See MathDL for details.)

**October 28:**

*Deaths:* John Wallis (1616-1703)

**October 29:**

*Math News:* In 1669, Newton, at the age of 26, is appointed Lucasian Professor at Cambridge. In 1675, Leibniz first uses the integral sign and the ‘d’ for differential. (See MathDL for details.)

*Deaths:* Jean d’Alembert (1717-1783)

**October 30:**

*Birthdays:* Harold Davenport (1907-1969)

*Deaths:* Willebrord Snell (1580-1626)

**October 31:**

*Math News:* In 1903, Frank Cole gives his famous silent presentation of his paper entitled, “On the factoring of large numbers.” At the chalkboard, he shows that the number (2^67) – 1 is not a Mersenne prime by computing the product of 193,707,721 and 761,838,257,287 – by hand! Click here to read my post about Frank Cole. (See MathDL for details.)

*Birthdays:* Ronald Graham (1935-present), Karl Weierstrass (1815-1897)

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

- http://mathdl.maa.org – general mathematical facts
- http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk:80/~history/Day_files/Now.html – birthdays

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