19th Century Mathematicians

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Find out more about the greatest 19th Century Mathematicians, including George Boole, Ada Lovelace, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Lewis Carroll and David Hilbert.
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 1 
Ada Lovelace
(Countess of Lovelace)
Ada Lovelace
68
Birthdate: December 10, 1815
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London
Died: November 27, 1852

Ada Lovelace was a mathematician known for her work on the Analytical Engine, a mechanical general-purpose computer proposed by Charles Babbage. Many believe that Lovelace was the first to recognize the potential of computers. It is also believed that she published the first algorithm after realizing that the algorithm could be carried out by a machine like the Analytical Engine.

 2 
Carl F. Gauss
(One of the Greatest Mathematicians of All Tim)
Carl F. Gauss
25
Birthdate: April 30, 1777
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brunswick, Germany
Died: February 23, 1855

German mathematician and physicist Carl Friedrich Gauss is remembered for his work in math and science. Known as the Princeps mathematicorum, he laid down tenets such as the Gauss's Law. He had exhibited his talent since an early age and had completed writing Disquisitiones Arithmeticae by 21.

 3 
Bertrand Russell
(Philosopher)
Bertrand Russell
24
Birthdate: May 18, 1872
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Trellech, Monmouthshire, Wales
Died: February 2, 1970

Bertrand Russell was a British polymath and Nobel laureate. His work, which is spread across various fields, has had a considerable influence on philosophy, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, mathematics, linguistics, and logic. Russell is also credited with leading the revolt against idealism in Britain and is regarded as one of the founders of analytic philosophy.

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 4 
James Maxwell
(Scottish Mathematician and Scientist Who Gave the Classical Theory of Electromagnetic Radiation)
James Maxwell
10
Birthdate: June 13, 1831
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: November 5, 1879

Scottish physicist James Maxwell’s contributions included the formulation of the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation and the production of the first light-fast color photograph. His Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution explored the kinetic theory of gases. He has also written poems and was an Elder of the Church of Scotland.

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 5 
George Boole
(Mathematician, Philosopher, and Logician Best Known as the Author of ‘The Laws of Thought’)
George Boole
18
Birthdate: November 2, 1815
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England
Died: December 8, 1864

George Boole is remembered for pioneering Boolean algebra, a tool used in digital computer circuits. More of a self-taught mathematician, Boole began teaching at 16 and later grew up to be a math professor at Queen’s College, Cork. His work in differential equations and algebraic logic was groundbreaking.

 6 
G. H. Hardy
(English Mathematician Known for His Contributions in Number Theory and Mathematical Analysis)
G. H. Hardy
17
Birthdate: February 7, 1877
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cranleigh, England
Died: December 1, 1947

English mathematician G. H. Hardy is best recognised for his work and achievements in number theory and mathematical analysis, and also as mentor of distinguished Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. He is noted for his essay on mathematics titled A Mathematician's Apology. He also made his mark in biology formulating a basic principle of population genetics called Hardy–Weinberg principle.  

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 7 
David Hilbert
(Mathematician)
David Hilbert
15
Birthdate: January 23, 1862
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Königsberg or Wehlau, Province of Prussia (today Znamensk, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia)
Died: February 14, 1943

German mathematician David Hilbert was first drawn to math inspired by his mother, who was a budding math enthusiast. He contributed to a host of concepts, theories, and postulates, such as Hilbert space, Hilbert's program, and Hilbert's problems. He died in oblivion, with a handful of people at his funeral.

 8 
Georg Cantor
(Mathematician)
Georg Cantor
12
Birthdate: March 3, 1845
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire
Died: January 6, 1918
Georg Cantor is remembered as the man behind the set theory of mathematics. Not known to many, he was a skilled violinist, too. He was one of the first to explore infinity. His final years were riddled with mental ailments, when he believed Shakespeare’s plays were written by Francis Bacon.
 9 
Pierre-Simon Laplace
(French Mathematician and Astronomer Who was Best Known for His Investigations into the Stability of the Solar System)
Pierre-Simon Laplace
14
Birthdate: March 23, 1749
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Beaumont-en-Auge, France
Died: March 5, 1827

Though French scholar Pierre-Simon Laplace is primarily known for his work on the solar system, his research extended to areas such as mathematics and physics, apart from astronomy. Widely known as the Newton of France, he escaped being executed during the French Revolution, owing to his lack of political views.

 10 
Henri Poincare
(French Polymath and Mathematician Known as One of the Founders of the 'Field of Topology')
Henri Poincare
7
Birthdate: April 29, 1854
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nancy, France
Died: July 17, 1912
Known as The Last Universalist for his expertise in a variety of domains, French mathematician Henri Poincare conducted research that formed the basis of the modern chaos theory. Apart from his work on relativity and the three-body problem, he also laid the foundation of algebraic topology.
 11 
Évariste Galois
(Mathematician)
Évariste Galois
15
Birthdate: October 25, 1811
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bourg-la-Reine, French Empire
Died: May 31, 1832

Évariste Galois was a French mathematician best remembered for solving a 350-year-old problem when he was still in his teens. His work formed the basis for group theory and Galois theory, two important branches of abstract algebra. Also a political activist, Évariste Galois died at the age of 20 after suffering wounds in a duel.

 12 
Bernhard Riemann
(Mathematician)
Bernhard Riemann
10
Birthdate: September 17, 1826
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Breselenz
Died: July 20, 1866

Bernhard Riemann was a German mathematician best remembered for his contributions to number theory, analysis, and differential geometry. His paper on the prime-counting function, which was published in 1859, is considered one of the most influential papers in the history of analytic number theory. Riemann is widely regarded as one of the greatest mathematicians ever.

 13 
Joseph Fourier
(Mathematician & Physicist)
Joseph Fourier
9
Birthdate: March 21, 1768
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Auxerre, Burgundy, Kingdom of France (now in Yonne, France)
Died: May 16, 1830

Joseph Fourier was a French physicist and mathematician best remembered for commencing the investigation of the Fourier series, which is used widely to solve problems of heat transfer and vibrations. Fourier's law of conduction and Fourier transform are named in his honor. Fourier is also said to have discovered the greenhouse effect.

 14 
Adrien-Marie Legendre
(Mathematician)
Adrien-Marie Legendre
7
Birthdate: September 18, 1752
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: January 10, 1833

Born into an affluent family, French mathematician Adrien-Marie Legendre probably never had to earn a living till the beginning of the French Revolution. Excelling in math and physics, he later contributed to areas such as elliptic functions, developed the least squares method, and lent his name to Legendre polynomials.

 15 
Sir William Rowan Hamilton
(Irish Mathematician and Astronomer Who Contributed to the Development of ‘Optics’, ‘Classical Mechanics’ and ‘Abstract Algebra’)
Sir William Rowan Hamilton
4
Birthdate: August 4, 1805
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: September 2, 1865

Son of a Dublin solicitor, Sir William Rowan Hamilton was raised and educated by his priest uncle from age 3. Initially a master of languages such as Latin, Greek, and Persian, Hamilton began deviating to math at 16. He is remembered for his contribution to optics, Hamiltonian mechanics, and algebra.

 16 
Augustin-Louis Cauchy
(Mathematician)
Augustin-Louis Cauchy
5
Birthdate: August 21, 1789
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris
Died: May 23, 1857

French mathematician Augustin-Louis Cauchy was initially a military engineer. In his early days, he and his family escaped the Reign of Terror and settled in Arcueil. He was one of the pioneers of mathematical analysis and made significant contributions to subjects such as error theory, calculus, and complex functions.

 17 
Gregor Mendel
(Know for Creating the science of Genetics)
Gregor Mendel
5
Birthdate: July 20, 1822
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hynčice, Vražné, Czechia
Died: January 6, 1884

A scientist, meteorologist, mathematician, and biologist, Gregor Mendel is considered the founder of the modern science of genetics. He conducted a series of experiments on pea plants between 1856 and 1863, establishing many rules of heredity. Besides his work on pea plants, he also described novel plant species and conducted experiments with hawkweed and honeybees.

 18 
Mileva Marić
(Serbian Physicist, Mathematician and the First Wife of Albert Einstein)
Mileva Marić
6
Birthdate: December 19, 1875
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Titel, Serbia
Died: August 4, 1948
Serbian physicist/mathematician Mileva Marić was the first wife of Albert Einstein and the second lady to complete the full program at the mathematics and physics department of Zürich Polytechnic. Experts still debate over whether she had helped Einstein in his initial research. Einstein transferred his Nobel Prize money to her.
 19 
Gottlob Frege
(Philosopher)
Gottlob Frege
5
Birthdate: November 8, 1848
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wismar, Germany
Died: July 26, 1925
 20 
Niels Henrik Abel
(Mathematician)
Niels Henrik Abel
6
Birthdate: August 5, 1802
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Finnøy
Died: April 6, 1829

Born to a pastor, Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel first showcased his mathematical skills in his cathedral school and later became a pioneer of various mathematical concepts. He died of tuberculosis, amid poverty, before he could learn that he had been appointed to teach at the University of Berlin.

 21 
Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi
(German Mathematician Who Founded the Theory of Elliptic Functions)
Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi
4
Birthdate: December 10, 1804
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Potsdam, Germany
Died: February 18, 1851

Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi was a German mathematician best remembered for his contributions to differential equations, dynamics, number theory, determinants, and elliptic functions. He is the first Jewish mathematician to work as a professor at a German university. Jacobi has a crater on the Moon named after him in recognition of his contribution to science.

 22 
Edwin Powell Hubble
(American Astronomer Who is Regarded as the Leading Observational Cosmologist of the 20th Century)
Edwin Powell Hubble
6
Birthdate: November 20, 1889
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Marshfield, Missouri, United States
Died: September 28, 1953

While the Hubble Telescope, named after Edwin Powell Hubble, reminds one of his contribution to astronomy, he failed to get a Nobel Prize, as back in his time, the Nobel Committee didn’t recognize astrophysics as a valid science. He is best remembered for his work on galaxies and extragalactic astronomy.

 23 
Karl Weierstrass
(Mathematician)
Karl Weierstrass
4
Birthdate: October 31, 1815
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ennigerloh
Died: February 19, 1897

Karl Weierstrass was a German mathematician best remembered for his significant contributions to mathematics. Often referred to as the father of modern analysis, Weierstrass proved the Bolzano-Weierstrass theorem and the intermediate value theorem. He also authorized the definition of continuous function. The asteroid 14100 Weierstrass and the lunar crater Weierstrass are named after him.

 24 
Lord Kelvin
(Mathematician, Physicist)
Lord Kelvin
4
Birthdate: June 26, 1824
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Belfast
Died: December 17, 1907

Lord Kelvin was a British mathematical physicist and engineer. He studied at the Glasgow University and proceeded to teach there as well. Besides his academic career, he also had a career as an electric telegraph engineer and inventor. He received the Royal Society's Copley Medal in 1883. Absolute temperatures are stated in units of kelvin in his honor.

 25 
Andre Marie Ampere
5
Birthdate: January 20, 1775
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Parish of St. Nizier, Lyon, France
Died: June 10, 1836

Andre Marie Ampere was a French physicist and mathematician. He is best known for being one of the founders of the science of classical electromagnetism. He was a professor at the École Polytechnique and the Collège de France and a member of the French Academy of Sciences. The base SI unit of electric current, the ampere, is named after him. 

 26 
Joseph Plateau
(Belgian Physicist & Mathematician - One of the First People to Demonstrate the Illusion of a Moving Image)
Joseph Plateau
5
Birthdate: October 14, 1801
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brussels
Died: September 15, 1883

Belgian physicist and mathematician Joseph Plateau was a pioneer of the modern animation and movie industry, as he invented the phenakistiscope, the world’s first device to create an illusion of motion through images. He also laid down the structure of soap films through Plateau's laws.

 27 
Edmund Husserl
(German Philosopher, Mathematician and Founder of Phenomenology)
Edmund Husserl
4
Birthdate: April 8, 1859
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Prostějov, Czechia
Died: April 27, 1938

Edmund Husserl was a German philosopher of Moravian origin. He established the school of phenomenology. He studied mathematics, physics, and astronomy at the University of Leipzig and worked as an assistant to mathematician Karl Weierstrass. He later became a professor of philosophy and taught for several years. He is considered a major figure in 20th-century philosophy.  

 28 
Georg Ohm
(Physicist & Mathematician)
Georg Ohm
5
Birthdate: March 16, 1789
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Erlangen, Germany
Died: July 6, 1854

Georg Ohm was a German mathematician and physicist. He is credited with discovering the proportionality between the voltage applied through a conductor and the subsequent electric current, which came to be known as Ohm's law. His work earned him the prestigious Copley Medal in 1841. A prolific writer, Georg Ohm published several papers and pamphlets throughout his career.

 29 
Norbert Wiener
(Father of Cybernetics)
Norbert Wiener
4
Birthdate: November 26, 1894
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Columbia, Missouri, United States
Died: March 18, 1964
 30 
Sophie Germain
(French Mathematician Known for Her 'Sophie Germain Prime Numbers')
Sophie Germain
6
Birthdate: April 1, 1776
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Rue Saint-Denis, Paris, France
Died: June 27, 1831

French mathematician Sophie Germain had used the pseudonym M. Le Blanc to get hold of notes from the École Polytechnique, as being a woman, she was not allowed to attend the institute. She later contributed to the number theory and also pioneered the elasticity theory. She died of breast cancer.

 31 
Alfred North Whitehead
(Mathematician, Philosopher)
Alfred North Whitehead
10
Birthdate: February 15, 1861
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ramsgate, Kent, England
Died: December 30, 1947

Alfred North Whitehead was a British mathematician and philosopher, best known for his collaboration with his student Bertrand Russell on Principal of Mathematics, a three-volume work on the foundations of mathematics. Also known for his pioneering works on process philosophy and metaphysics, he is credited with developing a comprehensive metaphysical system that differs from most Western philosophies.

 32 
Arthur Eddington
(Astronomer)
Arthur Eddington
4
Birthdate: December 28, 1882
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kendal
Died: November 22, 1944

Arthur Eddington was an English physicist, astronomer, and mathematician. He wrote numerous articles that explained Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity to the English-speaking world. He began his career in academics and eventually shifted to astronomy, becoming the chief assistant to the Astronomer Royal at the Royal Greenwich Observatory. He was a recipient of the Henry Draper Medal. 

 33 
Arthur Cayley
(Mathematician)
Arthur Cayley
3
Birthdate: August 16, 1821
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Richmond, Surrey, UK
Died: January 26, 1895
 34 
Mary Somerville
(Mathematician, Linguist, Translator, Astronomer, Scientist)
Mary Somerville
6
Birthdate: December 26, 1780
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Jedburgh
Died: November 28, 1872

One of the two pioneering female honorary members of the Royal Astronomical Society, Mary Somerville was a 19th-century polymath and science writer. Though she specialized in math and astronomy, she was also well-versed in botany and geology. The Connection of the Physical Sciences remains her most notable work.

 35 
Oliver Heaviside
(Mathematician, Physicist, Engineer, Telegraphy)
Oliver Heaviside
4
Birthdate: May 18, 1850
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Camden Town
Died: February 3, 1925

Oliver Heaviside was an English mathematician and physicist. He invented a new technique for solving differential equations and independently developed vector calculus. He is also credited with rewriting Maxwell's equations in the form commonly used today. He formulated the telegrapher’s equations and invented the Heaviside step function as well. In 1922, he received the Faraday Medal.

 36 
John Herschel
(British Polymath Known for His Invention of 'Blueprint')
John Herschel
3
Birthdate: March 7, 1792
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Slough, Buckinghamshire, England
Died: May 11, 1871

The son of renowned astronomer William Herschel, John Herschel was educated at Eton and Cambridge and grew up to be a polymath. Apart from contributing to the field of photography, he was known for cataloguing and naming stars and satellites. He briefly also served as the Master of the Royal Mint.

 37 
John Edensor Littlewood
(Mathematician, University teacher)
John Edensor Littlewood
3
Birthdate: June 9, 1885
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rochester
Died: September 6, 1977
 38 
Josiah Willard Gibbs
3
Birthdate: February 11, 1839
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Died: April 28, 1903

Josiah Willard Gibbs was an American scientist best remembered for making major theoretical contributions to mathematics, physics, and chemistry. As a mathematician, Gibbs is credited with inventing modern vector calculus. In 1901, he was honored with the prestigious Copley Medal for his contributions. Josiah Willard Gibbs's work had a major influence on physicists like J. D. van der Waals.

 39 
Hermann Minkowski
(German Mathematician and Professor Who Created and Developed the Geometry of Numbers)
Hermann Minkowski
3
Birthdate: June 22, 1864
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kaunas, Lithuania
Died: January 12, 1909

Hermann Minkowski was a mathematician who served as a professor at the University of Göttingen, the University of Königsberg, and the University of Zurich. He is credited with creating and developing the geometry of numbers. He is also credited with using geometrical methods to resolve problems in the theory of relativity, mathematical physics, and number theory.

 40 
Karl Schwarzschild
(Physicist, Astronomer, Astrophysicist, University teacher, Mathematician)
Karl Schwarzschild
3
Birthdate: October 9, 1873
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Frankfurt
Died: May 11, 1916

Karl Schwarzschild was a German astronomer and physicist. He is remembered for his contributions to the general theory of relativity; Schwarzschild came up with the first exact solution to the Albert Einstein field equations. He also contributed immensely to the theory of black holes.

 41 
Percival Lowell
(Astronomer, Mathematician)
Percival Lowell
4
Birthdate: March 13, 1855
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Boston
Died: November 12, 1916

Born into the famous Brahmin Lowell family of Massachusetts, Percival Lowell studied at Harvard, where he excelled in math. He managed a cotton mill and also spent time in Asia as a diplomat. He is best remembered for initiating the discovery of Pluto and for studying the canals on Mars.

 42 
John Venn
(Mathematician)
John Venn
3
Birthdate: August 4, 1834
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kingston upon Hull
Died: April 4, 1923
 43 
Charles Hermite
(Mathematician)
Charles Hermite
3
Birthdate: December 24, 1822
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dieuze
Died: January 14, 1901

Charles Hermite was a French mathematician best remembered for his research on number theory, invariant theory, algebra, elliptic functions, orthogonal polynomials, and quadratic forms. Also an inspiring and influential teacher, Hermite taught Jules Henri Poincaré, who went on to become fa amous mathematician in his own right.

 44 
Andrey Markov
(Mathematician)
Andrey Markov
6
Birthdate: June 14, 1856
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ryazan, Russia
Died: July 20, 1922
 45 
Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet
(German Mathematician Who Made Valuable Contributions to Number Theory, Analysis and Mechanics)
Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet
3
Birthdate: February 13, 1805
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Düren, Germany
Died: May 5, 1859

German mathematician Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet is remembered for his invaluable contribution to number theory. He pioneered the concept of a function, expressed through the equation y = f (x). Though his parents wanted him to become a merchant, his mastery of math made them change their minds.

 46 
Richard Dedekind
(German Mathematician Known for His Important Contributions to Number Theory, Abstract Algebra and Modern Set Theory)
Richard Dedekind
3
Birthdate: October 6, 1831
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brunswick, Germany
Died: February 12, 1916

German mathematician Richard Dedekind is best remembered for his ideas on the real number and infinity. Initially interested in subjects such as physics and chemistry, he later deviated to math. He taught at various institutes and was awarded honorary doctorates from universities of Zurich, Oslo, and Braunschweig.

 47 
Karl Pearson
(Mathematician, Historian of mathematics, Statistician, Historian, Philosopher, Biographer)
Karl Pearson
3
Birthdate: March 27, 1857
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London
Died: April 27, 1936

One of the greatest statisticians of all time, Karl Pearson established the first university-level statistics department at UCL and also launched the statistics-oriented journal Biometrika. He was also well-versed in law and believed in eugenics. His The Grammar of Science later inspired Albert Einstein and other scientists.

 48 
Charles Proteus Steinmetz
(German Mathematician and Engineer Whose Research on AC Systems Revolutionized the US Electric Industry)
Charles Proteus Steinmetz
3
Birthdate: April 9, 1865
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wrocław
Died: October 26, 1923

Though German-born American mathematician and engineer Charles Proteus Steinmetz suffered from a deformed back since childhood, he excelled in math, physics, and classical literature. His ideas on alternating current (AC) systems initiated the electrical era in the US. By the time he died, he had over 200 patents under his name.

 49 
Pafnuty Chebyshev
(Considered to Be the Founding Father of Russian Mathematics)
Pafnuty Chebyshev
3
Birthdate: May 16, 1821
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Zhukovsky District, Russia
Died: December 8, 1894
 50 
Siméon Denis Poisson
(Mathematician)
Siméon Denis Poisson
4
Birthdate: June 21, 1781
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pithiviers, France
Died: April 25, 1840