
Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras lived around the year 500 BC and is known for his Pythagorean theorem relating to the three sides of a right angle triangle: a² + b² = c²

Greek mathematician Euclid is often referred to as the ‘Father of Geometry’ for his revolutionary ideas and influential textbook called ‘Elements’ that he wrote around the year 300 BC.

Archimedes of Syracuse lived around the year 250 BC and among other things, developed a method for determining the volume of objects with irregular shapes.

Italian mathematician Leonardo of Pisa (better known as Fibonacci) lived between the years 1170 and 1250 and is best known today for Fibonacci numbers, the number sequence named after him. Fibonacci introduced the number sequence to Western Europe in his book ‘Liber Abaci’ after they had been described earlier by Indian mathematicians.

The Fibonacci sequence: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987, ....

In the 17th century Galileo Galilei and Johannes Kepler made important discoveries relating to planetary motion and orbits.

German mathematician Gottfried Leibniz lived between 1646 and 1716, developing important calculus concepts and mathematical notation practices.

Isaac Newton discovered the laws of physics and brought together many important concepts of infinitesimal calculus.

Much of the work done by Leibniz and Newton is based on theories by French philosopher Rene Descartes. As well as his many contributions to philosophy, Descartes also had a huge impact on mathematics, creating analytical geometry, developing a system that describes geometry using algebra, contributing to optics and much more.

Born in France, Pierre de Fermat was an amateur mathematician who is best known for Fermat’s Last Theorem.

In 1642 French mathematician Blaise Pascal invented the mechanical calculator.

Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler was probably the most influential mathematician of the 18th century, making discoveries in graph theory and introducing many modern mathematical words and notations among other things.

Born in 1777, German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss contributed brilliant work in geometry, statistics, number theories, algebra and much more.

Bernhard Riemann was an influential German mathematician who contributed to differential geometry and analysis, paving the way for the development of general relativity by Albert Einstein.

Born in 1882, Emmy Noether was a German mathematician who made important contributions to abstract algebra and theoretical physics, described by Einstein as the most important woman in the history of mathematics.

Alan Turing was a British mathematician and computer scientist who cracked German ciphers (codes) in the Second World War, contributed to mathematical logic and played an important role in the development of algorithms, artificial intelligence and the modern computer.

Born in 1953, British mathematician Andrew Wiles is most famous for proving Fermat’s Last Theorem.

Check out our pictures of famous mathematicians.