Pierre de Fermat
Born: 17 Aug 1601 in Beaumont-de-Lomagne, France
Died: 12 Jan 1665 in Castres, France

His father was wealthy leather merchant. Although there is little evidence concerning his school education it must have been at the local Franciscan monastery. He attended the University of Toulouse before moving to Bordeaux in the second half of the 1620s. In Bordeaux he began his first serious mathematical researches. From Bordeaux Fermat went to Orléans where he studied law at the University. He received a degree in civil law and he purchased the offices of councilor at the parliament in Toulouse. So by 1631 Fermat was a lawyer and government official in Toulouse and because of the office he now held he became entitled to change his name from Pierre Fermat to Pierre de Fermat. For the remainder of his life he lived in Toulouse but as well as working there he also worked in his home town of Beaumont-de-Lomagne and a nearby town of Castres. Fermat published only little and gave no systematic explanations as to his methods Some of the most remarkable of his results was first discovered after his death, on loose leafs and in the margins of the works he had read, and is without proof. He corresponded frequently with many of the contemporary scientist, and was quickly recognized as one of the leading mathematician of his time.

Fermat worked particularly with:
Fermat is best remembered for his work within number theory, particularly for Fermat's last theorem. It states that :
xn + yn = zn
has no non-zero integer solutions for x, y and z when n > 2.
Unsuccessful attempts to prove the theorem through more than 300 years have lead to many mathematical discoveries. It was not until 1994 that a proof was given by Andrew Wiles.
It is however Fermat's problem which is of interest for this project: Given three points in the plane, locate a point whose distances from A, B, and C have the smallest possible sum.
The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive:
Mathematicians of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries:
Large site about Fermat, primarily on Fermat's last therom
Evangelista Torricelli
Born 1608 in Faenza.
Died: 1647 in Romagna.

Was the first who solved Fermat's problem.
Torricelli was born in a fairly poor family, his father being a textile worker. He was the eldest of three children. His parents, lacking the resources to provide an education for him themselves, sent him to his uncle, who was a Camaldolese monk. His uncle saw that Evangelista was given a sound education until he was old enough to enter a Jesuit school. Torricelli entered a Jesuit College in 1624 and studied mathematics and philosophy there until 1626. He worked as a secretary for Benedetto Castelli, from 1626 to 1632, in exchange for tuition in mathematics, mechanics, hydraulics, and astronomy.
Torricelli is best known for his work within physics.
The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive
Institute and Museum of History of Science, Florence, ITALY
Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss
Born 1777 in Brunswick.
Died in Göttingen 1855.

Gauss started elementary school at the age of seven, and his potential was noticed almost immediately. In 1788 he began his education at the Gymnasium and after receiving a stipend, he entered Brunswick Collegium Carolinum in 1792. At the academy Gauss independently discovered Bode's law, the binomial theorem and the arithmetic- geometric mean, as well as the law of quadratic reciprocity and the prime number theorem. In 1795 Gauss left Brunswick to study at Göttingen University. While he was in Göttingen, he made one of his most important discoveries - the construction of a regular 17-gon by ruler and compasses. This was the most major advance in this field since the time of Greek mathematics and was published as Section VII of Gauss's famous work, Disquisitiones Arithmeticae. published i 1801. He left Göttingen in 1798 without a diploma . In 1807 Gauss became director of the astronomical observatory at Göttingen, a post he held until his death.
Gauss worked included:
  1. Non-Euclidean geometry
  2. Number theory
  3. Differential geometry
  4. Probability, and the theory of errors
  5. Astronomy
  6. Physics
The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive
Eric Weisstein's World of Science
Nez77's Laboratory (Large site about Gauss, with translations to the European principal language)
Jakob Steiner
Born: 18 March 1796 in Utzenstorf, Switzerland. Died: 1 April 1863 in Bern, Switzerland
Jakob Steiner did not learn to read and write until he was 14 and only went to school at the age of 18, against the wishes of his parents. He then studied at the Universities of Heidelberg and Berlin, supporting himself with a very modest income from tutoring. He was an early contributor to Crelle's Journal, the first journal devoted entirely to mathematics founded in 1826. He was appointed to a chair at the University of Berlin in 1834, a post he held until his death.

The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive
Clark Kimberling Home Page
LoveToKnow 1911 Online Encyclopedia
Bonaventura Francesco Cavalieri
Born: 1598 in Milan, Duchy of Milan, Habsburg Empire (now Italy) Died: 30 Nov 1647 in Bologna, Papal States (now Italy)

He joined the religious order Jesuati in Milan in 1615. In 1616 he transferred to the Jesuati monastery in Pisa. His interest in mathematics was stimulated by Euclid's works and after meeting Galileo, considered himself a disciple of the astronomer. In 1621 Cavalieri became a deacon and assistant to Cardinal Federico Borromeo at the monastery in Milan. He taught theology there until 1623 when he became prior of St Peter's at Lodi. In 1629 Cavalieri was appointed to the chair of mathematics at Bologna.
The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive
collection of mathematical biographies
Thomas Simpson
Simpson received little formal education. He did attend school in Market Bosworth for a while but his first job was as a weaver. He taught himself mathematics. He moved away from his home town to take up a position as a schoolmaster in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. From about 1725, when Simpson was fifteen years old, until around 1733, he taught mathematics in Nuneaton. An early member of the Spitalfields Mathematical Society. Simpson was the most distinguished of a group of itinerant lecturers who taught in the London coffee houses. In 1743 Simpson was appointed as the head of mathematics at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich. 1745 Simpson was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. He became a fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1758.
The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive
The Open Encyclopedia Project
Vojtech Jarnik
(1897-1970)Prague, Czechoslovakia.
He studied at the Charles University in Prague. After graduating he was appointed as an assistant at the Charles University. In 1923 he went to the University of Göttingen to work with Edmund Landau. Returning to his post in Prague in 1924, he was appointed to a chair of mathematics at the Charles University of Prague in 1928. He held this post until he retired in 1968 having taught at the University for a total of 47 years.
The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive:
Z. A. Melzak
Zdzislaw Alexander Melzak.The author is a scholar, a mathematician, a brilliant analytic thinker, a retired professor, a Canadian. He's also a Jew born in Poland, who as a teenager survived the Nazi death camps.
Z. A. Melzak is an extraordinary human being. His spirit is summarized by an epitaph that he wrote for himself: "He had little to be proud of except perhaps for this: that he differed in almost everything that matters from almost everybody. This sustained him in his struggles by inspiring the belief that he could not be everywhere wrong. He was profoundly grateful not for a glimpse of horror that was vouchsafed him, but for the accident of strength to bear it and to rebuild himself several times upon new foundations."
Senior Fellowship 1980 Mathematical Sciences Killam Award Winners
Gave the first finite algorithm fore the Euclidean Steiner Problem
List of Graph Theory Publications.
Edgar N. Gilbert
Worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories until 1995
List of Graph Theory Publications.
Edgar N. Gilbert - Publications
H. O. Pollak
Worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories till 1951-83
He served as director of the Mathematics and Statistics Research Center of AT&T Bell Labs
ICMI Executive Committees member 1971-1974/1983-1986
Recipients of MAA Certificate of Meritorious Servic 1990
List of Graph Theory Publications.
Ding-Zhu Du
Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Minnesota, since 1995.
Ph.D. in Mathematics (Theoretical Computer Science Program), University of California at Santa Barbara. 1985.
M.S. in Operations Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences. 1981.
Proved together with Frank Kwang-Ming Hwang the Gilbert-Pollak's conjecture.
Homepage, with biography etc.
Frank Kwang-Ming Hwang
Chair-prof., Department of Applied Mathematics, National Chiao Tung University
Proved together with Ding-Zhu Du the Gilbert-Pollak's conjecture.
List of Graph Theory Publications.
Michael R. (Mike) Garey
Director, Mathematical Sciences Research Center, Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies.
Ronald L. Graham
Cal-(IT)2 Chief Scientist and Irwin and Joan Jacobs Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering department, UCSD
David S. Johnson
Head, Algorithms and Optimization Department, AT\&T Labs.
Pawel Winter
Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen, Department of Computer Science
Our advisor on this project. It was an idea from him that got us started on this project.
Winter is one of the developers behind the GeoSteiner program.
List of Graph Theory Publications.
David Michael Warme
Emergent Information Technologies, Inc., Virginia, USA
Warme is one of the developers behind the GeoSteiner program.
Martin Zachariasen
Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen, Department of Computer Science.
Zachariasens well-written and in-depth research papers give a detailed insight into the Steiner Tree Problem.
Zachariasen is one of the developers behind the GeoSteiner program.
Homesite Many of the publications we have used to create this site can be found here.
List of Graph Theory Publications.