Several geniuses have made contributions to today’s knowledge of mathematics and logic. Names like Archimedes and Isaac Newton have gone down in history as some of the brightest minds. The best mathematicians in the world are also considered some of the smartest people who ever lived.
Mathematics is ubiquitous in our everyday life, and humans reached the moon because of maths. The discipline allowed scientists to create and transmit electricity, tease out the secrets of DNA, and invent computers.
Top 10 mathematicians of all time
There are different criteria used to judge the best mathematicians in the world. As such, other geniuses are recognised for various reasons. However, these ten best mathematicians are universally considered excellent. Their work is indirectly responsible for the wealth of some of the richest people alive today, particularly tech giants like Jeff Bezos.
1. Leonhard Euler (1707-1783)
Leonhard Euler was a mathematician, physicist, astronomer, logician and engineer from Switzerland. He made important discoveries in infinitesimal calculus and graph theory. He also made pioneering contributions to topology and analytic number theory.
2. Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920)
He developed mathematical functions, including mock modular forms based on his "visions", without proof in most cases. He developed a model that pointed to the existence of black holes 100 years before there was any concept of black holes.
3. Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855)
Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss contributed significantly to number theory, algebra, statistics and analysis. The German mathematician also developed critical concepts in differential geometry, mechanics, electrostatics, astronomy and optics. His concepts are also used to study major rocks in geology.
4. Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
Sir Isaac Newton is one of the most influential scientists of all time. The English physicist made seminal contributions to optics. Newton made groundbreaking contributions to mathematics, including the development of calculus and the invention of mathematical methods that are still widely used today.
5. Euclid (325 BC-265 BC)
Euclid is considered the ‘Father of Geometry.’ His invention, Euclidean geometry, is widely used in computer science and crystallography. The study of geometric shapes has been used for some of the best and worst inventions.
6. Archimedes (287 BC - 212/211 BC)
Archimedes of Syracuse was a Greek Scientist, mathematician, and physician. He worked his entire life on formulas related to Physics. His best contribution to the field was the invention of compound pulleys, antiquity, and screw pumps.
7. Pythagoras (570 BC-490 BC)
Pythagoras was an Ionian Greek philosopher, mathematician, and the founder of the Pythagorean movement. The Pythagoras theorem is widely taught globally and used to find the lengths of sides of a right-angled triangle.
8. Hypatia (-415AD)
Hypatia was a philosopher and the first woman to give importance to mathematics. She was a genius who became an inspiration for many young women. She was also the last famous mathematician in Alexandria's history.
9. George Cantor (1845-1918)
Cantor played a pivotal role in creating set theory which became a fundamental theory in mathematics. He defined infinite and well-ordered sets and proved that real numbers are more numerous than natural numbers. His method of proof of this theorem implies the existence of an infinity of infinities.
10. Gerolamo Cardano (1501-1576)
He was an Italian polymath, a doctor by profession and an author of 131 books. He was also a compulsive gambler. His love for betting led him to the first scientific analysis of probability. He realised that he could use numbers to express the likelihood of chance events, thus increasing his earnings.
This was a revolutionary idea which led to probability theory. The theory of probability is used today in marketing, the insurance industry and weather forecast. It is also used by cancer research scientists to predict the likelihood of cancers developing.
Who is the best mathematician in the world?
Srinivasa Ramanujan is considered the world's greatest mathematician. Although he had almost no formal training in pure mathematics, he compiled over 3900 formulas. He contributed significantly to continued fractions, infinite series, number theory and analysis.
Who are the best mathematicians alive?
Today’s mathematicians have helped develop modern-day technology. They are working and developing the scientific formulas behind human and economic problems. While lists are often subjective, the following are widely considered the best mathematicians alive:
- Keith Devlin
- Terence Tao
- John Stillwell
- Bruce C. Berndt
- Timothy Gowers
- Peter Sarnak
- Martin Hairer
- Ingrid Daubechies
- Andrew Wiles
- Ian Stewart
Criteria used to determine the best mathematician in the world
While many history books unanimously acknowledge geniuses like Archimedes and Pythagoras, some lists may vary because of various criteria. These are the top criteria used to judge mathematicians’ genius.
- Pure mathematics genius in the absence of quality education from top universities
- Difficulty and uniqueness of the results
- Originality and creativity of their mathematical contributions.
- Impact and significance of their work.
- Level of recognition and awards received.
- Scholarly contributions.
- Quantity of financial aid and social support provided to encourage the findings
- Quantity of results produced with respect to time
Who is the best mathematician as of 2022?
In 2022, Professor Barry Simon, from the California Institute of Technology, was ranked the world’s best mathematician. Barry Martin Simon is an American mathematical physicist and was the IBM professor of Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Caltech. With a high H-index of 113, he has contributed to spectral theory, functional analysis, and nonrelativistic quantum mechanics.
Who is the father of mathematics?
A Greek scientist, Archimedes is considered the Father of Mathematics. He is considered so because of his significant contributions to concepts like infinity, the uses of prime numbers, and the relationship between spheres and cylinders.
Which country is good at mathematics?
The United States dominates the field with 45.8% of the top mathematicians in the world. The United Kingdom ranks second, followed by Germany, France, China, Canada and Italy.
Who invented mathematics?
Historians found the oldest proof of the discipline in clay tablets and papyrus texts from Mesopotamia and Egypt. Therefore, the field is thought to have been discovered in the two societies since they are also some of the oldest human civilisations.
Mathematics has been pivotal in the rapid evolution of human society. History is rich with scientists who helped advance man’s collective understanding of maths. Although many consider Srinivasa Ramanujan the world’s best mathematician, many brilliant minds have made outstanding contributions to modern technology.
Legit.ng recently published an article about the most famous person in the world. With the rise of social media, the world is a global village. Fame is increasingly easy to come by.
However, a few people have distinguished themselves by excelling exceptionally in their crafts and careers. The most famous people in the world have built large followings online and in real life. This article lists the ten most famous celebrities in the world.