Mathematician:Mathematicians/Sorted By Birth/1701 - 1800 CE

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For more comprehensive information on the lives and works of mathematicians through the ages, see the MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, created by John J. O'Connor and Edmund F. Robertson.

The army of those who have made at least one definite contribution to mathematics as we know it soon becomes a mob as we look back over history; 6,000 or 8,000 names press forward for some word from us to preserve them from oblivion, and once the bolder leaders have been recognised it becomes largely a matter of arbitrary, illogical legislation to judge who of the clamouring multitude shall be permitted to survive and who be condemned to be forgotten.'
-- Eric Temple Bell: Men of Mathematics, 1937, Victor Gollancz, London

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Contents

$1701$ – $1710$

1701

November

Anders Celsius (1701 – 1744)

Swedish astronomer, physicist and mathematician whose best known contribution to science was his $1742$ proposal of what is now known as the Celsius temperature scale.
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1702

Thomas Bayes (1702 – 1761)

The Rev. Thomas Bayes was a mathematician and Presbyterian minister.

Most famous for his formulation of what is now known as Bayes' Theorem.
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1704

Johann Andreas Segner (1704 – 1777)

Hungarian scientist best known for inventing the Segner wheel.
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1707

April

Leonhard Paul Euler (1707 – 1783)

Swiss mathematician and physicist who pioneered much of the foundation of modern mathematics.

Introduced much of the notation which is used today, including $e$ and the modern notation for trigonometric functions.
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September

Georges Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707 – 1781)

French naturalist, mathematician, cosmologist, and encyclopédiste.

Translated Isaac Newton's works on calculus into French.

His claim to fame in the world of mathematics stems from his thought experiment Buffon's Needle.
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1710

May

Johann II Bernoulli (1710 – 1790)

Swiss mathematician who worked mostly on the theory of heat and light.

Son of Johann Bernoulli and the younger brother of Nicolaus II Bernoulli and Daniel Bernoulli.

Father of Johann III Bernoulli and Jakob II Bernoulli.
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August

Thomas Simpson (1710 – 1761)

British mathematician and inventor.

Eponym of Simpson's Rule to approximate definite integrals.
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$1711$ – $1720$

Alexis Claude Clairaut (1713 – 1765)

Sometimes reported as de Clairault.

French mathematician, astronomer and geophysicist. Worked out the shape of the Earth.

Best known in mathematics for Clairaut's (differential) equation.
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Matthew Stewart (1717 – 1785)

Scottish mathematician who made significant contributions to the fields of geometry and astronomy.
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Jean le Rond d'Alembert (1717 – 1783)

Jean-Baptiste le Rond d'Alembert was a French mathematician, physicist and philosopher best known for his contribution to the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra - he produced a flawed proof which was later patched up by Gauss.
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William Ludlam (c. 1717 – 1788)

English mathematician and writer on theology who was a fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge.

Credited with first formulating what is now known as Playfair's Axiom.
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Maria Gaëtana Agnesi (1718 – 1799)

Italian mathematician, linguist and philosopher famed for writing the first book discussing both integral and differential calculus.

The curve in analytic geometry called the Witch of Agnesi is named for her.
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$1721$ – $1730$

Jean-Étienne Montucla (1725 – 1799)

French mathematician and civil servant best known now for his work on the history of mathematics.

Wrote the first comprehensive history of mathematics, uncompleted at the time of his death.
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Johann Heinrich Lambert (1728 – 1777)

Swiss mathematician, physicist and astronomer.

The first to introduce hyperbolic functions into trigonometry.

Made conjectures regarding non-Euclidean space.

Credited with the first proof that $\pi$ is irrational.
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Johann Daniel Titius (1729 – 1796)

German astronomer best known for formulating the Titius-Bode Law, and thence to predict the existence of a planet between Mars and Jupiter.

Also active in the field of biology.
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Étienne Bézout (1730 – 1783)

French mathematician best known for his work in number theory and algebra.

Also the author of widely-used textbooks.
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$1731$ – $1740$

Joseph Jérôme Lefrançois de Lalande (1732 – 1807)

Jérôme Lalande was a French astronomer and writer.
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Alexandre-Théophile Vandermonde (1735 – 1796)

French mathematician and musician mainly active in the fields of combinatorics.

Referred to by some as "the founder of the theory of determinants".

Best known nowadays for the Vandermonde Determinant and the Chu-Vandermonde Identity.
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Edward Waring (c. 1736 – 1798)

English mathematician mainly active in the fields of number theory and analysis.

Most famous for posing what are now called:


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Joseph Louis Lagrange (1736 – 1813)

Italian-born French mathematician who made big advances in the fields of the calculus of variations and analytical mechanics.

Contributed to number theory and algebra.

Extended a lot of the fields established by Euler, and in turn laid down the groundwork for later explorations by Gauss and Abel.
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$1741$ – $1750$

John Wilson (1741 – 1793)

English mathematician remembered mainly for Wilson's Theorem, which was in fact published by Edward Waring and came originally from Ibn al-Haytham ("Alhazen"). It was in fact proved by Lagrange in $1793$.
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Johann III Bernoulli (1744 – 1807)

Swiss mathematician who worked on probability theory, recurring decimals and the theory of equations.

Son of Johann II Bernoulli and the elder brother of Jakob II Bernoulli.
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Caspar Wessel (1745 – 1818)

Norwegian–Danish mathematician and cartographer who, in $1799$, was the first person to describe the geometrical interpretation of complex numbers as points in the complex plane.
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Gaspard Monge (1746 – 1818)

French mathematician who invented the field of descriptive geometry.
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Johann Elert Bode (1747 – 1826)

German astronomer known for his reformulation and popularization of the Titius-Bode Law.

Determined the orbit of Uranus and suggested the planet's name.
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John Playfair (1748 – 1819)

Scots mathematician and scientific philosopher who was an early proponent of the philosophical position that physical laws are the same throughout the universe and do not change with time.

Also credited with Playfair's axiom, an alternative (and easier to digest) form of Euclid's Fifth Postulate, although he himself did not originate it.
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Pierre-Simon de Laplace (1749 – 1827)

French mathematician and astronomer whose work greatly influenced the development of the mathematics governing astronomy.

Pioneered the field of mathematical physics.
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Lorenzo Mascheroni (1750 – 1800)

Professor of mathematics at Pavia.

Wrote Geometria del Compasso, published in 1797, in which he showed that any geometrical construction that can be made with compasses and straightedge can also be achieved by using only compasses. This had, however, already been demonstrated by Georg Mohr in 1672.

Published in his 1790 work Adnotationes ad Calculum Integrale Euleri a calculation to 32 places of the value of what is now known as the Euler-Mascheroni Constant. However, only the first 19 places were accurate. The rest were corrected in 1809 by Johann von Soldner.
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$1751$ – $1760$

1752

Adrien-Marie Legendre (1752 – 1833)

French mathematician, focusing in the fields of statistics, abstract algebra, number theory and analysis.

His work formed the basis for work by many others, including Gauss and Abel.

Gave an early proof of Fermat's Last Theorem for $n = 5$.

Attempted a proof of the Law of Quadratic Reciprocity in $1785$, but it was flawed. It was eventually proven by Gauss in $1798$.
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1755

Marc-Antoine Parseval (1755 – 1836)

French mathematician, most famous for what is now known as Parseval's Theorem, which presaged the unitarity of the Fourier transform.
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1759

October

Louis François Antoine Arbogast (1759 – 1803)

French mathematician, and later politician, who pioneered the concept of discontinuous functions, further developing the work of Leonhard Paul Euler in this field.

This work was developed further by Augustin Louis Cauchy.

The first to conceive the calculus as a set of operational symbols.

Also the first to publish what is now known as Faà di Bruno's Formula.

Responsible for the law which introduced the decimal metric system to France.
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Jakob II Bernoulli (1759 – 1789)

Swiss mathematician who worked in geometry and mathematical physics.

Son of Johann II Bernoulli and the younger brother of Johann III Bernoulli.
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1760

Christian Kramp (1760 – 1826)

French mathematician working mainly with factorials.

His main claim to fame is for being the one to introduce the Factorial sign: $!$
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$1761$ – $1770$

1763

Johann Wilhelm von Camerer (1763 – 1847)

German protestant theologian, mathematician, astronomer and historian of mathematics.

Also published an edition of the first six books of Euclid's The Elements.
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1764

Pieter Nieuwland (1764 – 1794)

Dutch nautical scientist, chemist, mathematician and poet.

Has been called the Dutch Isaac Newton.

Known for finding the largest cube that can pass through a hole in a unit cube.
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1765

September

Paolo Ruffini (1765 – 1822)

Italian mathematician and philosopher.

Most famous for his incomplete proof of what is now known as the Abel-Ruffini Theorem proving the insolubility of the general quintic with radicals.
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December

Johann Friedrich Pfaff (1765 – 1825)

German mathematician who was a precursor of the German school, being a direct influence on Carl Friedrich Gauss.
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1766

John Farey (1766 – 1826)

British geologist, known for defining the Farey Sequence.
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1768

Joseph Fourier (1768 – 1830)

Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier was a French mathematician and physicist best known for the Fourier series and his application of this technique to the problem of heat conduction.

Also developed the technique of dimensional analysis, and discovered the greenhouse effect.
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Jean-Robert Argand (1768 – 1822)

Amateur mathematician of Swiss origin, also an accountant and bookseller, best known for the Argand diagram.

Also published, in $1814$, the first complete and rigorous proof of the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra.
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François Joseph Servois (1768 – 1847)

French mathematician and military officer.

Worked in the fields of projective geometry, functional analysis and complex analysis.

First introduced (in 1814) the concept of commutativity which till then had generally been taken for granted in all fields of mathematics.
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1769

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 – 1821)

Amateur French mathematician also famous as a military and political leader of France (in the same way that Henry Tudor was an amateur singer/songwriter whose hits included Greensleeves).
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$1771$ – $1780$

1775

Farkas Wolfgang Bolyai (1775 – 1856)

Frequently referred to as Wolfgang Bolyai.

Hungarian mathematician, mainly known for his work in geometry.
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1776

April

Sophie Germain (1776 – 1831)

Marie-Sophie Germain was a French mathematician who contributed to differential geometry and number theory, and provided some insights into aspects of Fermat's Last Theorem.

She was completely self-taught (as women were not encouraged to do that sort of thing in those days) and contributed her early work under the pseudonym Monsieur LeBlanc.

Had Gauss and Lagrange as mentors, but apart from that, suffered throughout her career from prejudice against her gender.
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July

Johann Georg von Soldner (1776 – 1833)

German mathematician, physicist and astronomer.

Calculated the Euler-Mascheroni constant to 24 places.

The first one to predict (100 years before Einstein) that light rays would be bent by the gravitational fields of stars.
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August

Józef Maria Hoene-Wroński (1776 – 1853)

Polish Messianist philosopher, mathematician, physicist, inventor, lawyer, and economist.

Best known for his definition of the Wronskian.
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October

Peter Barlow (1776 – 1862)

English mathematician and physicist, famous for his New Mathematical Tables, which would be later republished and known as Barlow's Tables and become a standard reference work.

Also (disappointingly) notable for his prediction in 1811 that no prime greater than $2^{31} - 1$ would ever be discovered.

Also noted for his work on magnetism and strength of materials.
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1777

Louis Poinsot (1777 – 1859)

French mathematician and physicist best known for his work in geometry and the embryonic field of graph theory.

Invented the field of geometrical mechanics.
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Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777 – 1855)

One of the most influential mathematicians of all time, contributing to many fields, including number theory, statistics, analysis and differential geometry.
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1780

March

August Leopold Crelle (1780 – 1855)

Self-educated and enthusiastic German mathematician whose most important work was founding Journal für die reine und angewandte Mathematik, better known as Crelle's Journal.
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July

Daniel Christian Ludolph Lehmus (1780 – 1863)

German mathematician best remembered for the Steiner-Lehmus Theorem.
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$1781$ – $1790$

1781

Siméon-Denis Poisson (1781 – 1840)

French mathematician and physicist best known for his work in probability theory and differential equations.
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Bernhard Placidus Johann Nepomuk Bolzano (1781 – 1848)

Bohemian priest who was also a mathematician, logician, theologian and philosopher.

A major precursor of the wave of development of analysis in the late $19$th century.

Proved the Bolzano-Weierstrass Theorem, independently of (and earlier than) Karl Weierstrass.

Gave the first analytical proof of the Intermediate Value Theorem (which is also known as Bolzano's Theorem).
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1783

Charles Julien Brianchon (1783 – 1864)

French mathematician and chemist who took up a career in Napoleon's artillery.

With Jean-Victor Poncelet, proved the Nine Point Circle Theorem in $1820$.
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1784

Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel (1784 – 1846)

Prussian mathematician best known for making a systematic study of what is now known as Bessel's equation.
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1786

February

Jacques Philippe Marie Binet (1786 – 1856)

French mathematician best known for his contribution to the Binet-Cauchy Identity.

Recognized as the first to define the rules for matrix multiplication.
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May

Dominique François Jean Arago (1786 – 1853)

French mathematician, physicist, astronomer and politician.

Worked in the field of optics with Augustin Fresnel.

First person to construct an electromagnet.

As an active practical astronomer and geographer in troubled political times, once found himself arrested on charges of espionage.
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1787

November

Magnus Georg Paucker (1787 – 1855)

Russian astronomer and physicist best known for his construction of the regular $257$-gon using a compass and straightedge.
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1788

Jean-Victor Poncelet (1788 – 1867)

French mathematician and engineer who revived the field of projective geometry.

With Charles Julien Brianchon, proved the Nine Point Circle Theorem in $1820$.
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1789

Georg Simon Ohm (1789 – 1834)

German physicist and mathematician best remembered for Ohm's Law.
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Augustin Louis Cauchy (1789 – 1857)

French Engineer and mathematician, from a suburb of Paris, which at the time was home to many leading mathematicians.

Wrote seven books and more than 700 papers in various fields of mathematics.

Made significant contributions in number theory, the theory of determinants, eigenvalues, ordinary and partial differential equations, permutation groups, and the foundation of calculus.

Famous for founding the theory of functions of a complex variable.

Argued by some as the founder of group theory.
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1790

August Ferdinand Möbius (1790 – 1868)

German mathematician and theoretical astronomer, active in geometry and number theory.

Best known for inventing the Möbius Strip, although this was actually invented independently by Johann Benedict Listing at around the same time.
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$1791$ – $1800$

1791

October

Wilhelm August Förstemann (1791 – 1836)

German mathematician best known for his textbooks, which were standard German grammar schools texts for some considerable time.

Published a series of articles on on the task of rationalizing equations.
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December

Charles Babbage (1791 – 1871)

English mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer.

Originated, together with Ada Lovelace, the concept of a programmable computer.
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1792

Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky (1792 – 1856)

Known as "the Copernicus of geometry", for his development of a non-Euclidean geometry, that is, one which does not use the parallel postulate.
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1793

April

Dionysius Lardner (1793 – 1859)

Irish scientific writer and populariser of science.
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May

Jakob Philipp Kulik (1793 – 1863)

Austrian mathematician known for his construction of mathematical tables.

A table containing the factors of all integers up to $100 \, 000 \, 000$, which he had spent $20$ years working on as a hobby, remained uncompleted and unpublished at his death.
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July

George Green (1793 – 1841)

Famously (and mystifyingly) self-taught English mathematical physicist best known for Green's Theorem.

Did pioneering work on electromagnetism.
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November

Michel Chasles (1793 – 1880)

French mathematician known for his work in projective geometry, as well as for his contributions to harmonic analysis.
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1794

William Whewell (1794 – 1866)

English polymath, scientist, Anglican priest, philosopher, theologian, and historian of science.

Originator of many new scientific terms, including "ion," "cathode," "Eocene," "Miocene," "physicist," and "scientist."
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1795

February

Giuliano Frullani (1795 – 1834)

Italian mathematician interested in definite integrals and infinite series.
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July

Gabriel Léon Jean Baptiste Lamé (1795 – 1870)

French mathematician who investigated curvilinear coordinate systems.

Studied the series of curves now known as Lamé curves.
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October

Benjamin Olinde Rodrigues (1795 – 1851)

French banker, mathematician, and social reformer.
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1796

Jakob Steiner (1796 – 1863)

Swiss mathematician who worked extensively (and mainly) in geometry.

He made an important contribution to combinatorics with his Steiner system, a kind of block design.
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Irénée-Jules Bienaymé (1796 – 1878)

French mathematician mainly working in statistics, whose work can be considered as extending the work of Laplace.
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Andreas Freiherr von Ettingshausen (1796 – 1878)

German mathematician and physicist.

The first to build an electromagnetic machine.

Invented the notation $\dbinom n k$ for the binomial coefficient.
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1798

January

Karl Georg Christian von Staudt (1798 – 1867)

German mathematician best known for his book Geometrie der Lage, an important work in the development of the discipline of projective geometry.
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March

Pierre Frédéric Sarrus (1798 – 1861)

French mathematician who discovered a mnemonic rule for solving the determinant of a 3-by-3 matrix, named Sarrus' Scheme.

Demonstrated the Fundamental Lemma of the Calculus of Variations.

Discovered Fermat pseudoprimes to base $2$, now known as Sarrus numbers or Poulet numbers.
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October

Heinrich Ferdinand Scherk (1798 – 1885)

German mathematician notable for his work on minimal surfaces and the distribution of prime numbers.
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1799

Fortuné Landry (1799 – 1895)

French mathematician mainly working in the field of factorization of large integers.
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1800

Karl Wilhelm Feuerbach (1800 – 1834)

German geometer best known for Feuerbach's Theorem.

Introduced homogeneous coordinates in $1827$, independently of August Ferdinand Möbius.
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