Pierre-Simon Laplace quotes ~
• “Life's most important questions are, for the most part, nothing but probability problems.”
• “What we know is not much. What we do not know is immense.” (attributed)
• “Nature laughs at the difficulties of integration.”

Gottfried Wilhelm Baron de Leibniz b. 7-1-1646; Leipzig, Germany
d. 11-14-1716; Hanover, Electorate of Saxony

Philosopher and mathematican Gottfried Leibniz developed “infinitesimal calculus” at the same time and independent of Isaac Newton. He also developed mechanical calculators.

Benoit B. Mandelbrot b. 11-20-1924;Warsaw, Poland
d. 10-14-2010; Cambridge, MA

Mandelbrot will be best remembered as the “father of fractal geometry”, coining the term “fractal”, and describing the Mandelbrot set.

Mandelbrot was describing self-similar patterns, nearly or exactly the same at every scale. The word is based on the the Latin term fractus meaning “broken”, “fractured”.

James Clerk Maxwell was a mathematician and theoretical physicist noted for his equations in electricity, magnetism and inductance; and laying the foundations for the 20th century fields of special relativity and quantum mechanics. He also made the first true color photographs.

James Clerk Maxwell quote:
• “Mathematicians may flatter themselves that they possess new ideas which mere human language is as yet unable to express. Let them make the effort to express these ideas in appropriate words without the aid of symbols, and if they succeed they will not only lay us laymen under a lasting obligation, but, we venture to say, they will find themselves very much enlightened during the process, and will even be doubtful whether the ideas as expressed in symbols had ever quite found their way out of the equations into their minds”. The Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell (1890 edition, reprint 2003), Vol. 2, 217

August Ferdinand Mobius b. 10-24-1790; Schulpforta, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
d. 9-26-1868; Leipzig

Mobius, a mathematician and professor of astronomy, is best known for his discovery of the Möbius strip, “a non-orientable two-dimensional surface with only one side when embedded in three-dimensional Euclidean space.”

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