**Match 1: Newton vs. Abel**

In this match, we’ve pitted the famous 1600s physicist and
mathematician Isaac Newton against Niels Henrik Abel, after whom the Abel prize
in mathematics is named.

Newton, born into a poor farming family in 1642, went to
Cambridge to become a preacher, and then found his love of mathematics. His
contributions to mathematics are numerous- the most significant of which is
perhaps the invention of Calculus, which he developed separately from
Leibniz. Not just a mathematician-
Newton was also an accomplished physicist. He penned the

*Principia Mathematica*, inside which the Laws of Motion are written. According to Wolfram Science World, Newton “contributed more to the development of science than any other individual in history.”
Abel was a Norwegian mathematician and young prodigy. At
only 16 years of age, Abel determined a proof of the binomial theorem, making
it valid for all numbers and expanding Euler’s findings. He independently
invented the basis of group theory. As a
member of a very poor family, Abel had to enter the Royal Frederick University
on scholarship. However, by the time he entered, he had independently studied
so much mathematics that his professors couldn’t teach him anything new. Abel
never obtained a professorial position, though he tried for several years after
his degree. He died of tuberculosis at 26 years old before seeing recognition
for his work.

It is obvious, in hindsight, that Abel was a great
mathematician. It is likely that, if he had not died at such a young age, Abel
would have received praise for his work during his life, and that he would have
produced more important work. However, Newton produced work that was much more
important.

Newton's won his first round. |

**Match 2: Euclid vs. Riemann**

Here, we see the famous Greek geometer Euclid against
Bernhard Riemann, a 19

^{th}century German mathematician.
Euclid of Alexandria was a mathematician born around 323
BCE, though the exact year is unknown. Known as the Father of Geometry, Euclid
is best associated with the textbook

*Elements,*the most foundational geometry textbook of all time. For centuries, if you studied mathematics, you studied*Elements*first. It laid the basis of logical proofs, and served as a catalogue of important geometrical results stretching back even before Euclid’s time.
And Euclid’s opponent, Riemann, was another geometer. He
unlocked new information about manifolds of dimensions in his thesis, and defined
space by a metric equation. Riemann also
invented the Riemann Sum, which introduces many students to the mathematician
when they take integral calculus. He also claims the (not-quite proven) Riemann
Hypothesis.

There is no doubt that Euclid was one of the greatest
mathematicians of all time. However, Euclid left no great hypotheses to solve.
It is clear that the proofs Euclid made would have been discovered eventually-
though his method of proof was foundational for all mathematics. Riemann, on
the other hand, built up complicated mathematical ideas on new subjects.

Riemann is the second match winner! |

What do you think about our choices? What do you think about the huge upset when Riemann beat Euclid? Let us know in the comments!

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