Here’s our alphabetical list of the most popular mathematicians or contributors to mathematics on the Famous Scientists website, ordered by surname.

Archimedes c. 287 BC – 212 BC.

Founded the sciences of mechanics and hydrostatics, calculated pi precisely, devised the law of exponents, created new geometrical proofs, invented numerous ingenious mechanical devices, and more.

Founded the sciences of mechanics and hydrostatics, calculated pi precisely, devised the law of exponents, created new geometrical proofs, invented numerous ingenious mechanical devices, and more.

Daniel Bernoulli 1700 – 1782.

Discovered the Bernoulli Effect explaining how aircraft wings generate lift; formulated a kinetic theory relating particle speeds in gases to temperature; made major discoveries in the theory of risk.

Discovered the Bernoulli Effect explaining how aircraft wings generate lift; formulated a kinetic theory relating particle speeds in gases to temperature; made major discoveries in the theory of risk.

Brahmagupta 597 – 668.

Established zero as a number and defined its mathematical properties; discovered the formula for solving quadratic equations.

Established zero as a number and defined its mathematical properties; discovered the formula for solving quadratic equations.

René Descartes 1596 – 1650.

One of the greatest philosophers of all time; advocate of skepticism in the scientific method; creator of new mathematical ideas including the independent founding of analytical geometry. Cartesian coordinates are named in his honor.

One of the greatest philosophers of all time; advocate of skepticism in the scientific method; creator of new mathematical ideas including the independent founding of analytical geometry. Cartesian coordinates are named in his honor.

Eratosthenes c. 276 BC – c. 194 BC.

Accurately calculated Earth’s size 2,500 years ago; founded the science of geography; and devised the famous prime number sieve.

Accurately calculated Earth’s size 2,500 years ago; founded the science of geography; and devised the famous prime number sieve.

Leonhard Euler 1707 – 1783.

Published more mathematics than any other single mathematician, much of it groundbreaking. An astonishing fraction of the total research work in mathematics and the physical sciences between 1730 and 1780 was carried out solely by Euler.

Published more mathematics than any other single mathematician, much of it groundbreaking. An astonishing fraction of the total research work in mathematics and the physical sciences between 1730 and 1780 was carried out solely by Euler.

Pierre de Fermat 1607 – 1665.

Co-founded the disciplines of analytic geometry and probability theory and was a key player in the invention of calculus. There’s more to Fermat than his famous last theorem.

Co-founded the disciplines of analytic geometry and probability theory and was a key player in the invention of calculus. There’s more to Fermat than his famous last theorem.

Fibonacci c. 1170 – c. 1245.

The rebirth of Western mathematics: Fibonacci’s

The rebirth of Western mathematics: Fibonacci’s

*Book of Calculation*introduced the Indian number system, now used worldwide, to Europe.
Ronald Fisher 1890 – 1962.

Invented experimental design; devised the statistical concept of variance; unified evolution by natural selection with Mendel’s rules of inheritance, so defining the new field of population genetics.

Invented experimental design; devised the statistical concept of variance; unified evolution by natural selection with Mendel’s rules of inheritance, so defining the new field of population genetics.

Carl Friedrich Gauss 1777 – 1855.

The last master of all mathematics, Gauss revolutionized number theory and invented the method of least squares and the fast Fourier transform. His profound contributions to the physical sciences include Gauss’s Law & Gauss’s Law for Magnetism.

The last master of all mathematics, Gauss revolutionized number theory and invented the method of least squares and the fast Fourier transform. His profound contributions to the physical sciences include Gauss’s Law & Gauss’s Law for Magnetism.

Sophie Germain 1776 – 1831.

Self-taught mathematican who pretended she was a man. Developed elasticity theory and made significant progress in her personal program to prove Fermat’s last theorem.

Self-taught mathematican who pretended she was a man. Developed elasticity theory and made significant progress in her personal program to prove Fermat’s last theorem.

Willard Gibbs 1839 – 1903.

Gibbs invented vector analysis and founded the sciences of modern statistical mechanics and chemical thermodynamics.

Gibbs invented vector analysis and founded the sciences of modern statistical mechanics and chemical thermodynamics.

Thomas Harriot c. 1560 – 1621

Transformed algebra from a field based mainly on word equations to today’s concise discipline based on symbols. Probably first person to observe sunspots with a telescope, allowing him to determine the sun’s rotation rate.

Transformed algebra from a field based mainly on word equations to today’s concise discipline based on symbols. Probably first person to observe sunspots with a telescope, allowing him to determine the sun’s rotation rate.

David Hilbert 1862 – 1943.

Famed for his 23 problems, Hilbert propelled mathematics to new heights. He replaced Euclid’s axioms dating from 2,000 years earlier, allowing the unification of 2D and 3D geometry; and he created Hilbert Space, now essential in advanced physical science.

Famed for his 23 problems, Hilbert propelled mathematics to new heights. He replaced Euclid’s axioms dating from 2,000 years earlier, allowing the unification of 2D and 3D geometry; and he created Hilbert Space, now essential in advanced physical science.

Hipparchus c. 190 BC – c. 120 BC.

One of antiquity’s greatest scientists: founded the mathematical discipline of trigonometry; measured the earth-moon distance accurately; discovered the precession of the equinoxes; and documented the positions and magnitudes of over 850 stars. His combinatorics work was unequalled until 1870.

One of antiquity’s greatest scientists: founded the mathematical discipline of trigonometry; measured the earth-moon distance accurately; discovered the precession of the equinoxes; and documented the positions and magnitudes of over 850 stars. His combinatorics work was unequalled until 1870.

Grace Hopper 1906 – 1992.

Pioneer of electronic computers: invented the first compiler; was the principal architect of COBOL, the most widely used computer language of the twentieth century.

Pioneer of electronic computers: invented the first compiler; was the principal architect of COBOL, the most widely used computer language of the twentieth century.

Omar Khayyam 1048 – 1131.

A poet, philosopher and scientist, Khayyam calculated the length of a year to the most accurate value ever, and showed how the intersections of conic sections can be utilized to yield geometric solutions of cubic equations.

A poet, philosopher and scientist, Khayyam calculated the length of a year to the most accurate value ever, and showed how the intersections of conic sections can be utilized to yield geometric solutions of cubic equations.

Johannes Kepler 1571 to 1630.

Discovered the solar system’s planets follow elliptical paths; identified the tides are caused mainly by the moon; proved how logarithms work; discovered the inverse square law of light intensity; his laws of planetary motion led Newton to his law of gravitation.

Discovered the solar system’s planets follow elliptical paths; identified the tides are caused mainly by the moon; proved how logarithms work; discovered the inverse square law of light intensity; his laws of planetary motion led Newton to his law of gravitation.

Ada Lovelace 1815 – 1852.

The mother of computing science; contributed to the first published computer program; was the first person to see that computers could do more than mathematical calculations, recognizing that musical notes and letters of the alphabet could be turned into numbers for manipulation by computers.

The mother of computing science; contributed to the first published computer program; was the first person to see that computers could do more than mathematical calculations, recognizing that musical notes and letters of the alphabet could be turned into numbers for manipulation by computers.

Isaac Newton 1643 to 1727.

Profoundly changed our understanding of nature with his law of universal gravitation and his laws of motion; invented calculus, the field of mathematics that dominates the physical sciences; generalized the binomial theorem; built the first ever reflecting telescope; showed sunlight is made of all the colors of the rainbow.

Profoundly changed our understanding of nature with his law of universal gravitation and his laws of motion; invented calculus, the field of mathematics that dominates the physical sciences; generalized the binomial theorem; built the first ever reflecting telescope; showed sunlight is made of all the colors of the rainbow.

Emmy Noether 1882 – 1935.

Probably the greatest female mathematician in history, Noether’s theorem revealed a fundamental property of our universe, that for every conservation law there is an invariant. Her founding work in abstract algebra revolutionized mathematics.

Probably the greatest female mathematician in history, Noether’s theorem revealed a fundamental property of our universe, that for every conservation law there is an invariant. Her founding work in abstract algebra revolutionized mathematics.

Pythagoras c. 570 BC – 497 BC.

Believed the universe was constructed using mathematics and everything could be described with numbers; established a link between mathematics and music; proved Pythagoras’s theorem; discovered irrational numbers; discovered the Platonic Solids.

Believed the universe was constructed using mathematics and everything could be described with numbers; established a link between mathematics and music; proved Pythagoras’s theorem; discovered irrational numbers; discovered the Platonic Solids.

Srinivasa Ramanujan 1887 – 1920.

A largely self-taught pure mathematician, he enriched number theory with thousands of new identities, equations and theorems.

A largely self-taught pure mathematician, he enriched number theory with thousands of new identities, equations and theorems.

Bernhard Riemann 1826 – 1866.

Transformed geometry with curved space and n-dimensional space providing the mathematical foundation of Einstein’s theory of general relativity; provided the first rigorous definition of the integral; the Riemann hypothesis has become the most famous unresolved problem in mathematics – its holy grail.

Transformed geometry with curved space and n-dimensional space providing the mathematical foundation of Einstein’s theory of general relativity; provided the first rigorous definition of the integral; the Riemann hypothesis has become the most famous unresolved problem in mathematics – its holy grail.

Niccolo Tartaglia 1500 – 1557.

Founded the modern science of ballistics; refuted Aristotle’s claim that air sustained motion; provided general solutions for cubic equations.

Founded the modern science of ballistics; refuted Aristotle’s claim that air sustained motion; provided general solutions for cubic equations.

Thales of Miletus c. 624 BC – c. 546 BC

The first scientist in history, Thales looked for patterns in nature to explain the way the world worked. He replaced superstitions with science. He was the first person to use deductive logic to find new results in geometry.

The first scientist in history, Thales looked for patterns in nature to explain the way the world worked. He replaced superstitions with science. He was the first person to use deductive logic to find new results in geometry.