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Leonhard Euler
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Mathematician
    (April 15, 1707-September 18, 1783)
    Born in Basel, Switzerland
    Contributed to calculus, graph theory, mechanics, fluid dynamics, optics and astronomy
    Popularized many conventions for mathematical notation
    Collected works fill 60+ volumes
    Wrote 'Letters to a German Princess' for Frederick the Great's niece
    He accepted a position with the Imperial Russian Academy of Sciences, then delayed his trip to St. Petersburg so he could apply (unsuccessfully) for a professorship at the University of Basel.
    He married his widow's half-sister.
    His philosophical ideas were ridiculed by Voltaire.
    A fellow mathematician said he 'calculated without effort, as men breathe.'
    He had a photographic memory, which enabled him to remain prolific even after going almost completely blind (1766).
    Only five of his thirteen children survived childhood.
    He was responsible for three of the top five winners in a 'Mathematical Intelligencer' poll for 'most beautiful mathematical formula ever' (1988).

Credit: C. Fishel


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