Mathematicians born on this day:
1735 : Lorgna |
Mathematicians who died on this day:
1786 : Alexander Wilson |

Charles Babbage | George Box | Dominique Cassini |

**Charles Babbage** (1791 - 1871)

... it is said that he [Babbage] sent the following letter to Alfred, Lord Tennyson about a couplet in "The Vision of Sin":

I need hardly point out to you that this calculation would tend to keep the sum total of the world's population in a state of perpetual equipoise, whereas it is a well-known fact that the said sum total is constantly on the increase. I would therefore take the liberty of suggesting that in the next edition of your excellent poem the erroneous calculation to which I refer should be corrected as follows:Every minute dies a man,

Every minute one is born

I may add that the exact figures are 1.167, but something must, of course, be conceded to the laws of meter.Every minute dies a man,

And one and a sixteenth is born

*Charles Babbage and his Calculating Engines*

Another quotation by one of today's mathematicians

JOC/EFR April 2015
The URL of this page is: |
School of Mathematics and Statistics University of St Andrews, Scotland | |

http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/history/Day_files/Day1018.html |