# A Passion for Mathematics by C. Pickover

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By C. Pickover

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Extra resources for A Passion for Mathematics

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The mathematician Joseph Louis Lagrange (1736–1813) was the first person to use the notation f ′(x) for the first derivative and f ″(x) for the second derivative. In 1696, Guillaume François de L’Hôpital, a French mathematician, published the first textbook on calculus. Jews, π, the movie. The 1998 cult movie titled π stars a mathematical genius who is fascinated by numbers and their role in the cosmos, the stock market, and Jewish mysticism. According to the movie, what is God’s number? ) Mathematics and romance.

Euler’s one-step proof of God’s existence. In mathematical books too numerous to mention, we have heard the story of the mathematician Leonhard Euler’s encounter with the French encyclopedist Denis Diderot. Diderot was a devout atheist, and he challenged the religious Euler to mathematically prove the existence of God. Euler replied, “Sir (a + bn)/n = x; hence, God exists. ” Supposedly, Euler said this in a public debate in St. 30 A Passion for Mathematics From this little information, do you think you would enjoy the evening with this person?

What is the largest number ever used in the lyrics to a popular song? ) The magnificent Erdös. It is commonly agreed that Paul Erdös is the second-most prolific mathematician of all times, being surpassed only by Leonhard Euler, the great eighteenth-century mathematician whose name is spoken with awe in mathematical circles. In addition to Erdös’s roughly 1,500 published papers, many are yet to be published after his death. Erdös was still publishing a paper a week in his seventies. Erdös undoubtedly had the greatest number of coauthors (around 500) among mathematicians of all times.