Saturday, January 5, 2008

Mystery Math Idol Week of 1-1-08 Revealed and a Proof!

Believe it or not, there were actually two winners this week. This probably translates to a total of two individuals in the math blogosphere who actually enjoy this feature! I will continue this feature until we run out of mathematical icons, however, by indirect proof, one can prove that the list is infinite:

Assume there are only finitely many mathematical geniuses to choose from:
M1, M2,M3,...Mk.
Since such mathematicians 'multiply' like the rest of our species, there will always be at least one other offspring from this list who is different from anyone on the list. This contradiction proves that the Name That Mathematician Feature will be around for awhile!

From looking at the picture in the sidebar, you now know that our mystery man is none other than (drum roll please...)

Ferdinand Eisenstein

Winner #1 (and still overall champion): LYNX

Here is her contribution:

Ferdinand Eisenstein was the only one of 6 children to survive. The rest died of meningitis. During school (aged 11-13) he solved 100 proofs during the time most students were expected to solve 11 or 12. He died of tuberculosis at the age of 29. (It seems many mathematicians have their lives cut short. What might have been discovered sooner if they had lived?) Gauss would later say the three top mathematicians were Archimedes, Newton, and Eisenstein. (Quite a compliment if I say so myself.) []

In his autobiography, he writes, "As a boy of six I could understand the proof of a mathematical theorem more readily than that meat had to be cut with one's knife, not one's fork. "

Co-Winner: VLORBIK

that's eisenstein, of course
(the only one so far i knew
right away just by looking ...).
fun fact? well, according to
gauss rated him with newton & archimedes.


Totally_Clueless said...

Isn't there is resemblance to common depictions of George W. Bush's favorite political philosopher?


Dave Marain said...

tc --
Now that you mention it!
However, I do believe in separation of church and math blogging so I think I will not pursue this...