Euler (DOC)

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					Paul Mackiewicz

History of Math Commercial

                                        Leonhard Euler

       Euler is thought to have been one of the greatest mathematicians in history, to the

point that many still in Russia and Switzerland today revere him through stamps, money or

other such memorabilia. Many of the functions and mathematical processes we use or believe

today were either proved or made popular by him. He began with humble beginnings, being

the son of a pastor in the small Swiss town of Basel. At the early age of 13 he attended

university and by 16 had graduated with his masters in philosophy, studying theology, Greek,

and Hebrew. He would have continued in this life had it not been for the constant pursuit of a

family friend, the prominent mathematician Johannes Bernoulli. Because of his attests that

Leonhard had the potential and genius to be a mathematical great; Euler completed his Ph. D.

and began studying mathematics and physics, even competing in prominent mathematical

competitions, where though his first time he placed second he eventually won the contest 11

different times. Euler’s real journey to greatness started when another Bernoulli brother,

Daniel, asked him to move to St. Petersburg and teach within the mathematical institute there.

Euler eventually accepted the invitation and in short order had become a part of the

mathematical department there, underneath only his close friend. By the end of 1733 Daniel

had moved on and Euler took the departmental head position, where he would stay on for a

number of years.
       His life and career eventually led him to the Berlin Academy, where he would stay for 25

years and during that time discover or prove some of the greatest mathematical work ever

created. From his own number, e, to his work in discrete mathematics and trigonometry, much

of modern mathematics is built on the workings of his foundation. It is here he wrote his two

most prominent works and here as well that he moved up into the political works under the

urgings of Frederick the Great. During this time he got into tense battles with the up-and-

coming Voltaire, whose wit and sarcasm undermined the genius of Euler. Still being a humble

theologian at heart, he was eventually ousted due to his lack of “marketability” by Frederick the

Great, who found his humble attitude wasteful and not nearly as exciting as Voltaire’s abject

opinions. Euler moved on and finished his years at the much improved Russian academy in St.

Petersburg, dying from a sudden brain hemorrhage at the age of 76.

       What most of his history can’t account for in greatness publicly or amidst the masses,

his mathematical genius has spanned the ages. The work he did and made known has

completely shaped what modern-day mathematics looks like and how it’s gone about. Though

he was just a man from humble beginnings and a devote man of God In his personal time, he

was one of the greatest mathematical heavyweights to have ever lived and will continue to be

as long as mathematics is still in need, want, or study.

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