DO the math, DON'T overpay. We make high quality, low-cost math resources a reality.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Math Madness: First Round Part 2

Here's the second round of results from the Math Madness bracket (view the first post here).Keep checking in on the Math Madness webpage- we'll update the bracket image when we've released all the first round winners!

Match 3: Gauss vs. Gromov

The third match sees Carl Friedrich Gauss, a German mathematician, against the modern mathematician Mikhail Gromov.

Karl Friedrich Gauss, known as the “prince of mathematics,” was a child prodigy. When his elementary teacher gave a problem to keep the students busy, Gauss famously summed the integers from 1 to 100 almost instantly (the correct answer is 5,050). He considered one of his crowning achievements to be developing a method for constructing a heptadecagon using only a straightedge and a compass, and he even wanted one inscribed on his tombstone. At age 24, Gauss published the Disquisitiones Arithmeticae, in which he made several significant proofs and created a system for the study of number theory. Gauss ended up publishing only a fraction of his work because of his obsession with revising his papers. Many discoveries were made during Gauss’s time and shortly after his death, but when Gauss’s diary was discovered it was determined that he had priority on many results that he simply hadn’t published.

And, facing off against the math giant Gauss is Mikhael Gromov, born in 1943 in the USSR and still teaching mathematics at New York University. He is known mainly for his work in geometry, and in 2009 won an Abel Prize “for his revolutionary contributions to geometry.” His work covers three particular areas of achievement: Global Riemannian geometry, symplectic geometry, and groups of polynomial growth.

Gromov is obviously an important figure in mathematics, and his achievements are interspersed throughout a very interesting life. But while Gromov has provided revolutionary contributions to geometry, Gauss revolutionized the entire number theory field by creating a system for its study. Therefore, Gauss moves on to the next round.

Match 4: Euler vs. Ramanujan

In this match, 18th century Leonhard Euler faces off against Ramanujan, the Indian mathematician and “Man who knew infinity.”

Euler was a Swiss mathematician who lived his entire life in the 18th century. Possibly his most important contribution, Euler systemized mathematics by introducing symbols including e, i, and f(x). He provided the foundations of analysis in his book Introducio in analysin infinitorum. Euler even proved that the binomial theorem is valid for any rational exponent. He published over 800 papers in his lifetime, not even stopping when he went blind 17 years before his death.

Srinivasa Ramanujan could not have a more dissimilar back story. Born in 1887 in Madras, India, he received no formal education in mathematics. His main contributions to mathematics are in analysis and infinite series. Ramanujan would never have entered the spotlight if not for English mathematician G. H. Hardy, who saw the potential in Ramanujan and partnered with him on several publications.

Ramanujan had an incredible mind, no doubt.  However, his fame stems mostly from his capabilities even with no formal education in math. Euler’s work contributed much more to the growth of mathematics, and for that reason, he wins this round.

Do you agree with us? Do you think we made a wrong decision? Let us know in the comments!

No comments:

Post a Comment