18th October

Mathematicians who were born or died on 18th October


Mathematicians born on this day:

1735 : Lorgna
1883 : Eugenio Levi
1903 : Birnbaum
1919 : Box
1938 : Griffiths
1945 : McDuff

Mathematicians who died on this day:

1786 : Alexander Wilson
1793 : John Wilson
1845 : Dominique Cassini
1871 : Babbage

Posters available   (Click on a link below)

Charles Babbage George Box Dominique Cassini


A quotation for today

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":

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

Charles Babbage and his Calculating Engines

Another quotation by one of today's mathematicians


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JOC/EFR January 2013

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