Alexandre-Theophile Vandermonde (1735-1796)

Because Alexandre-Theophile Vandermonde was a sickly child, his physician father directed him to a career in music. However, he later developed an interest in mathematics. His complete mathematical work consists of four papers published in 1771-1772. These papers include fundamental contributions on the roots of equations, on the theory of determinants, and on the knight’s tour problem. Vandermonde’s interest in mathematics lasted for only 2 years. Afterward, he published papers on harmony, experiments with cold, and the manufacture of steel. He also became interested in politics, joining the cause of the French revolution and holding several different positions in government.

More stories of mathematicians are everywhere, including the web, printed books, journals and my mind !! 🙂

Nalin Pithwa

PS: One of the best source of stories of mathematicians is, of course, the famous “Men of Mathematics” by E. T. Bell.


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