Many things can vary across the world. Languages change and within those languages there can potentially be several different dialects, where cultures and traditions can vary.
But one thing remains consistent no matter where you are and that is Maths. Numbers do not lie and are the same in every country.
It’s a universal language that can have a significant impact in almost any situation… Just do the maths.
In this post, we’re going to look back on the work of some of the most influential Mathematicians of our time, who made an impact on the modern-day world with what they accomplished many years ago.
Here are, in no particular order, our Top 5:
- Sir Isaac Newton – Inventor of Calculus
It would be foolish of us to compile a list of the world’s greatest mathematicians without mentioning Sir Isaac Newton.
Not only known for his skills in Mathematics, Newton also shaped early physics, a scientific method, which we all know now as the theory of universal gravitation, and calculus. Newton’s laws are well known today even by not only experts in the field but people ‘out of the know’ with the subject as well.
His contribution stretches further than just Math as he was an expert in many fields such as physics, natural philosophy, alchemy, theology, astronomy and economics.
- Alan Turing – World War II Codebreaker
Turing was a British Mathematician who many believe to be the father of computer science. His early findings were responsible for the PC’s we use today.
You’ll notice from the heading that we’ve given him indicates that his contribution stretches slightly further than just being a Math whiz. Turing was in fact hailed as one of the most important people in devising the techniques for breaking the German Enigma cypher.
His method could crack the Enigma on an industrial scale, allowing the Allies to read nearly all German communication. One of the founders of modern cryptanalysis, and definitely played one of the most crucial parts in winning the Battle of the Atlantic for the Allies.
- John von Neumann – Early Developer Of The Computer
Credited as one of the greatest Mathematicians of his time, Hungarian-American John von Neumann has long, distinguished list of contributions to disciplines within Mathematics and also done substantial work in applied fields.
During the Cold War, he was the first to propose the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction to the US. Not only was he a key figure in the development of the digital computer he also worked out steps to completing a thermonuclear reaction.
- Blaise Pascal – Inventor Of The First Calculator
A 17th Century French Mathematician and physicist, Pascal was responsible for the original calculator. An amazing achievement considering not only their benefit and contribution but also that every hand-held smart device has one built into them now.
His other notable achievements include inventing an early version of the roulette wheel, creating the hydraulic press and developing the syringe to name a few.
- Pierre-Simon Laplace – Pioneer Of Statistics
Laplace was a key player in the advances of Mathematical astronomy and, most significantly, statistics. A Mathematical method of dealing with data collection, organization, analysis, interpretation and presentation.
He was one of the first to suggest the existence of black holes, a driver of systematizing probability theory and one of the first to study the speed of sound.
Of course, this is barely scratching the surface of some of the brilliant minds that have contributed to the life we are now accustomed to through Mathematics.
As we mentioned before, there is no 1-5 order and this is by no means an official ranking. We want to know who would be amongst your Top 5, so please share your list with us in the comments!