Famous 17th Century French Mathematicians

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 1 René Déscartes

René Déscartes
Famous As: Former Philosopher known as father of modern philosophy
Birthdate: March 31, 1596
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Descartes, France
Died: February 11, 1650
René Descartes, the father of modern philosophy, laid down the idea of rationalism, later followed by Spinoza and Leibniz. Descartes also contributed to the field of analytical geometry and led to the Cartesian coordinate system being named after him. His Meditations on First Philosophy is still taught at many universities.

 2 Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: June 19, 1623
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Clermont-Ferrand, France
Died: August 19, 1662

Blaise Pascal was a French physicist, mathematician, philosopher, and inventor. A child prodigy, Pascal's work on projective geometry, at the age of 16 is commendable. He is one of the earliest inventors of the mechanical calculator, which he did when he was still a teenager. His work on probability theory influenced the development of social science and modern economics.

 3 Pierre de Fermat

Pierre de Fermat
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: 1607 AD
Birthplace: Beaumont-de-Lomagne, France
Died: January 12, 1665

Seventeenth-century French mathematician Pierre de Fermat was also a qualified lawyer. Remembered mostly for his contribution to number theory, probability, calculus, and analytic geometry, he was also known for his proficiency in six languages, including Greek and Latin. One of his major works, Introduction to Loci, was released posthumously.

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 4 Giovanni Domenico Cassini

Giovanni Domenico Cassini
Famous As: Astronomer and Mathematician
Birthdate: June 8, 1625
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Perinaldo, Italy
Died: September 14, 1712
Italian-French mathematician and astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini is best remembered for his discovery of four moons of Saturn, the computation of Jupiter’s rotational period, and the observation of the Cassini Division, or the gap between Saturn’s rings. King Louis XIV made him a member of the Académie des Sciences

 5 Abraham de Moivre

Abraham de Moivre
Famous As: Mathematician, Statistician
Birthdate: May 26, 1667
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vitry-le-François
Died: November 27, 1754

 6 Marin Mersenne

Marin Mersenne
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: September 8, 1588
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Oizé, France
Died: September 1, 1648

 7 Pierre Gassendi

Pierre Gassendi
Famous As: Philosopher, Mathematician, Astronomer, Professor, Astrologer
Birthdate: January 22, 1592
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Champtercier
Died: October 24, 1655

French Catholic priest and astronomer Pierre Gassendi is remembered for his efforts to reconcile atomism with Christian ideals and for his anti-Aristotelianism. His studies included research on Epicurean philosophy. Apart from observing the transit of Mercury, he also studied the speed of sound and horizontal momentum.

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 8 Denis Papin

Denis Papin
Famous As: French physicist, mathematician
Birthdate: August 22, 1647
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Blois, France
Died: August 26, 1713

Best remembered for his ground-breaking invention of the pressure cooker, Denis Papin was also the man behind the first piston steam engine, which played a major part in ushering in the Industrial Revolution. Unfortunately, he died a destitute and remains buried in an unmarked grave in London.

 9 Pierre Vernier

Pierre Vernier
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: August 19, 1580
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ornans, France
Died: September 14, 1637

 10 Antoine Arnauld

Antoine Arnauld
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: February 6, 1612
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, Kingdom of France
Died: August 8, 1694

 11 Girard Desargues

Girard Desargues
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: February 21, 1591
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lyon, France
Died: August 31, 1661

One of the founders of projective geometry, French mathematician Girard Desargues began his career as an architect and an engineer, designing several private and public buildings in Paris and Lyon and also a project for lifting water. Eventually he became associated with a group of Parisian mathematicians and undertook researches on perspective and geometrical projections, publishing several papers on it.

 12 Bernard Forest de Belidor

Bernard Forest de Belidor
Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: 1698 AD
Birthplace: Catalonia, Spain
Died: September 8, 1761

 13 Gilles de Roberval

Gilles de Roberval
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: August 9, 1602
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Roberval, France
Died: October 27, 1675