Math Madness has begun at the Center of Mathematics! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, view our newest webpage and feast your eyes. Our mission is to determine the greatest, most influential mathematician of all time. Check back often for information about voting!
We had to narrow down a list of hundreds of influential, important mathematicians to just 16. We wanted to choose a variety of mathematicians: some ancient, some modern, some geometers, some number theorists, some famous, some more obscure but significant. We even recruited the opinion of visiting mathematician Lê Dung Tráng to decide on our Sweet 16.
In the end, we narrowed it down to the mathematicians in the bracket above. Then, we had to decide on a fair way to seed the mathematicians, or rank them to face off. We decided to seed them in order of returns on a basic Google search: Newton had the most results, so he was given a first seed. Leibniz had the fifth most results, and he was given the fifth seed. We then placed the seeds into a bracket in the same way that the NCAA would order basketball seeds.
As March Madness progresses, so will our bracket. We’ll decide who wins this round and the next. When it’s down to the Final Four, we’re going to set up a poll and have you, our viewers, vote to decide who goes to the top two spots, and then we’ll release another poll to decide the champion.
We’d also like to pay a quick tribute to our First Four: John Milnor, Heisuke Hironaka, Alexander Grothendieck, and Muhammad al-Khwarizmi were each highly considered for a spot in the Sweet 16, but unfortunately had to be left out. Other honorable mentions include Michael Atiyah, Kunihiko Kodaira, and Andrew Wiles.
Do you agree with our rankings? Do you think we left someone important out? Let us know in the comments section!