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April 28th, 2014, 11:15 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by raul14 View Post
This is a good list, again except him.

The Thirty Greatest Mathematicians
Their list starts:
1. Isaac Newton
2. Archimedes
3. Carl F. Gauss
4. Leonhard Euler
5. Bernhard Riemann
6. Henri Poincaré
7. Joseph-Louis Lagrange
8. David Hilbert
9. Euclid of Alexandria
10. Gottfried W. Leibniz
11. Alexandre Grothendieck
12. Pierre de Fermat
13. Niels Abel
14. Évariste Galois
15. John von Neumann
16. Karl W. T. Weierstrass
17. René Déscartes
18. Brahmagupta
19. Peter G. L. Dirichlet
20. Srinivasa Ramanujan
21. Carl G. J. Jacobi
22. Augustin Cauchy
23. Hermann K. H. Weyl
24. Eudoxus of Cnidus
25. Georg Cantor
26. Arthur Cayley
27. Emma Noether
28. Pythagoras of Samos
29. Leonardo `Fibonacci'
30. Muhammed al-Khowârizmi

I think Gauss, Euler, Cauchy, and al-Khowârizmi are very much underrated on this list. 1. Gauss, 2. Euler seems pretty obvious to me, and surely al-Khowârizmi should be at least in the top 10. Leonardo Fibonacci has no business on this list -- despite his great historical importance, he has very little claim to being a mathematician at all, let alone a groundbreaking one. Aryabhata and Diophantus are conspicuously absent -- perhaps the latter because he was never properly understood in his time, but that doesn't excuse the former.

Newton ranks well in overall greatness but as a mathematician should probably be lower -- most of his fame comes from his contributions to physics. (If physics were counted as a part of mathematics then surely Noether would rank higher.)
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April 28th, 2014, 11:44 AM   #12
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Where would you put Cauchy? I think Newton was more genial than Euler, and he did revolutionary math, so I don't know. As a mathematician, he's maybe lower than Euler, but I'd put him at 2 for his geniality.

Anyway, here's mine:

1. Gauss
2. Newton
3. Euler
4. Archimedes
5. now I've been wondering for decades about this. Euclid? vs Hilbert, Cauchy, Riemann, Lagrange, Poincare, Ramanujan and Noether. If I had to eliminate, it would be Euclid, Hilbert, Riemann, Poincare, Ramanujan. But how to compare those? Riemann, Poincare and especially Ramanujan were even more genial than Gauss, imho. He was maybe the greatest genius ever. Riemann did a certain thing in 1859 from which we can't still recover. Hilbert was an alien, always on the edge of philosophy and math. Plus I read he discovered field equations of general relativity before Einsein but never claimed priority. His Finiteness theorem..Gordon 'this is not math. this is theology'

Last edited by raul14; April 28th, 2014 at 11:51 AM.
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