Did You Know: A Brief History of Infinitesimals

Sometime in the 5th century B.C. the Greek philosopher Hippasus of Metapontum, a member of the secretive Pythagorean brotherhood, left his home in southern Italy and boarded a seagoing ship. We do not know why Hippasus was traveling or where he was journeying, but we do know he didn’t make it. According to the legend, […]

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Did You Know: The Secret Spiritual History of Calculus

Countless students learn integral calculus—the branch of mathematics concerned with finding the length, area or volume of an object by slicing it into small pieces and adding them up. What few realize is that their calculus homework originated, in part, in a debate between two 17th-century scholars. In 1635 Italian mathematician Bonaventura Cavalieri declared that […]

Did You Know: The History of Pi (π)

Throughout the history of Mathematics, one of the most enduring and interesting challenges has been the calculation of the ratio between a circle’s circumference and diameter, which is popularly known by the Greek letter pi (π). Probably we all know about the definition of pi, still I am quoting here from Wikipedia : “The number […]