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