On This Day in Math Wednesday, May 13

Sunday, May 13 1753

Lazare Carnot born in Burgundy, France. He published his "Reflections on the Metaphysics of the Infinitesimal Calculus" in 1797. It was written in 1784 for a Berlin Academy competition seeking a "clear and precise" foundation for the calculus.

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Lazare Carnot

Wednesday, May 13 1829

Charles-Francois Sturm presented his theorem for finding the number of real roots of a polynomial equation to the French Academy.

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Charles-Francois Sturm
Sturm's Theorem

Sunday, May 13 1984

Stanislaw Ulam died in Santa Fe, New Mexico. While working at Los Alamos, New Mexico, during World War II, he figured out how to initiate fusion in the hydrogen bomb and invented the Monte Carlo method in statistics.

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Stanislaw Ulam