John F. Nash, Jr. - Autobiography. My beginning as a legally recognized individual occurred on June 13, 1928 in Bluefield, West Virginia, in the Bluefield Sanitarium, a hospital that no longer exists.

Of course I can't consciously remember anything from the first two or three years of my life after birth. (And, also, one suspects, psychologically, that the earliest memories have become "memories of memories" and are comparable to traditional folk tales passed on by tellers and listeners from generation to generation.) But facts are available when direct memory fails for many circumstances. My father, for whom I was named, was an electrical engineer and had come to Bluefield to work for the electrical utility company there which was and is the Appalachian Electric Power Company. He was a veteran of WW1 and had served in France as a lieutenant in the supply services and consequently had not been in actual front lines combat in the war. I also did electrical and chemistry experiments at that time. Thus further time passed. Solving Fermat: Andrew Wiles. Posted 11.01.00 NOVA Andrew Wiles devoted much of his career to proving Fermat's Last Theorem, a challenge that perplexed the best minds in mathematics for 300 years.

In 1993, he made front-page headlines when he announced a proof of the problem, but this was not the end of the story; an error in his calculation jeopardized his life's work. In this interview, Wiles recounts how he came to terms with the mistake, and eventually went on to achieve his life's ambition. Anyone who thinks that mathematics doesn't involve passion and emotion should hear directly from Andrew Wiles. Enlarge Photo credit: © WGBH Educational Foundation A childhood dream NOVA: Many great scientific discoveries are the result of obsession, but in your case that obsession has held you since you were a child. Évariste Galois. Life[edit] Early life[edit] Galois was born on 25 October 1811 to Nicolas-Gabriel Galois and Adélaïde-Marie (born Demante).

His father was a Republican and was head of Bourg-la-Reine's liberal party. He became mayor of the village after Louis XVIII returned to the throne in 1814. His mother, the daughter of a jurist, was a fluent reader of Latin and classical literature and was responsible for her son's education for his first twelve years. In October 1823, he entered the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, and despite some turmoil in the school at the beginning of the term (when about a hundred students were expelled), Galois managed to perform well for the first two years, obtaining the first prize in Latin.

He found a copy of Adrien Marie Legendre's Éléments de Géométrie, which it is said that he read "like a novel" and mastered at the first reading. Srinivasa Ramanujan. Srinivasa Ramanujan FRS ( pronunciation ) (22 December 1887 – 26 April 1920) was an Indian mathematician and autodidact who, with almost no formal training in pure mathematics, made extraordinary contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions.

Living in India with no access to the larger mathematical community, which was centred in Europe at the time, Ramanujan developed his own mathematical research in isolation. As a result, he rediscovered known theorems in addition to producing new work. Ramanujan was said to be a natural genius by the English mathematician G. H. Ramanujan was born at Erode, Madras Presidency (now Tamil Nadu) in a Tamil Brahmin family of Thenkalai Iyengar sect.[2][3][4] His introduction to formal mathematics began at age 10. Carl Friedrich Gauss. Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss (/ɡaʊs/; German: Gauß, pronounced [ɡaʊs] (

Leonhard Euler. Leonhard Euler (/ˈɔɪlər/ OY-lər;[2] German pronunciation: [ˈɔʏlɐ] ( ), local pronunciation: [ˈɔɪlr̩] ( A statement attributed to Pierre-Simon Laplace expresses Euler's influence on mathematics: "Read Euler, read Euler, he is the master of us all.

"[6][7] The Thirty Greatest Mathematicians. This is primarily a list of Greatest Mathematicians of the Past, but I use 1930 birth as an arbitrary cutoff, and three of the "Top 100" are still alive as I write.

Click for a discussion of certain omissions. Please send me e-mail if you believe there's a major flaw in my rankings (or an error in any of the biographies). Obviously the relative ranks of, say Fibonacci and Ramanujan, will never satisfy everyone since the reasons for their "greatness" are different. I'm sure I've overlooked great mathematicians who obviously belong on this list. Please e-mail and tell me! (By the way, the ranking assigned to a mathematician will appear if you place the cursor atop the name at the top of his mini-bio.) Following are the top mathematicians in chronological (birth-year) order (with a larger font used for the names of the Top Thirty): Earliest mathematicians Early Vedic mathematicians The greatest mathematics before the Golden Age of Greece was in India's early Vedic (Hindu) civilization.