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May 25th, 2014, 05:24 PM  #1 
Senior Member Joined: May 2014 From: Allentown PA USA Posts: 111 Thanks: 6 Math Focus: dynamical systen theory  The little knowns with big gifts
It's true there are the bright lights of the mathematical community  Dr. Gauss, Dr. Euler, Sir Isaac Newton. But there are also other people who contributed to the scientific and mathematical communities  Torricelli ( the barometer ); Sergei Kolmogorov Ph.D. ( Kolmogorov variables in mathematical statistics ); a contemporary mathematical physicist Manfred Eigen Ph.D. ( eigenvalues and eigenvectors, which are indispensable in studying certain areas of quantum mechanics ). Hat's off to the little people with big gifts! Sincerely yours Carl James Mesaros 
May 26th, 2014, 11:58 AM  #2 
Global Moderator Joined: Nov 2006 From: UTC 5 Posts: 16,046 Thanks: 938 Math Focus: Number theory, computational mathematics, combinatorics, FOM, symbolic logic, TCS, algorithms 
You're putting the bar pretty high if Kolmogorov is a "little"! What undergraduate of mathematics, physics, or computer science doesn't know him? I'm not familiar with any connection between Manfred Eigen and eigenvalues/vectors/etc. 
May 26th, 2014, 04:06 PM  #3 
Math Team Joined: May 2013 From: The Astral plane Posts: 2,273 Thanks: 943 Math Focus: Wibbly wobbly timeywimey stuff.  
May 26th, 2014, 06:18 PM  #4 
Senior Member Joined: May 2014 From: Allentown PA USA Posts: 111 Thanks: 6 Math Focus: dynamical systen theory  The problems of not "looking before you leap."
Sorry. I didn't research Dr. Eigen enough. Another lesson : look before you leap! 
May 26th, 2014, 06:33 PM  #5 
Senior Member Joined: May 2014 From: Allentown PA USA Posts: 111 Thanks: 6 Math Focus: dynamical systen theory 
Upon doing some short research on the concepts of eigenvalues and eigenvectors, the names don't refer to any individual's name. The term "Eigen" is German for "self." And, as usual, the history of mathematics comes into play. The beginnings of eigenvalues and eigenvectors can be traced back to Dr. Euler. And, if I may bring this up here : some concepts, such as mathematical models, may look great on paper, but are often useless to explain realworld situations. 
May 27th, 2014, 05:09 AM  #6 
Global Moderator Joined: Nov 2006 From: UTC 5 Posts: 16,046 Thanks: 938 Math Focus: Number theory, computational mathematics, combinatorics, FOM, symbolic logic, TCS, algorithms 
Usually mathematical models are simplifications of reality, designed not so much to simulate reality but to bridge the gap between our understanding and the actual phenomena.

May 27th, 2014, 07:55 AM  #7 
Math Team Joined: Dec 2013 From: Colombia Posts: 7,685 Thanks: 2665 Math Focus: Mainly analysis and algebra  Or to isolate the influence of a limited number of factors on a larger, more complicated system. (Although this can mean the same as CRG's comment, it doesn't have to).

May 27th, 2014, 08:46 AM  #8 
Senior Member Joined: Apr 2014 From: Glasgow Posts: 2,161 Thanks: 734 Math Focus: Physics, mathematical modelling, numerical and computational solutions 
There are probably hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of explorers, philosophers, mathematicians and scientists that have contributed in some way to the pantheon of human knowledge. Hats off to ya!

May 27th, 2014, 10:57 AM  #9 
Math Team Joined: Oct 2011 From: Ottawa Ontario, Canada Posts: 14,597 Thanks: 1038  

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