Famous Italian Mathematicians

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How so ever you hated mathematics as a student, you cannot but deny its importance in everyday lives. Had it not been for maths, would selling and making purchases have been possible? How would the seller charge you and in what way would you pay him for the items? Would tracking your cake batter in the oven be possible if not for maths? Maths has been an indispensible part of our everyday life. It is used in so many other subjects and science that it is rightly tapped as the queen of science and the master of the language of nature. Right from animation to astronomy, fashion designing to architecture, maths is used everywhere. And much of that has been due to the prominent mathematicians who have made revolutionary discoveries and findings through their research and experiments. While talking about mathematicians, one cannot but envisage the contribution made by the Italian counterparts. Right from Fibonacci who introduced in Europe and the western world the sequence of Fibonacci numbers to Galileo Galilei’s use of mathematics for his revolutionary research on astronomy, Italy has been blessed with renowned mathematicians. Check this segment and find out in details about famous Italian mathematicians, their life, work and contribution in the field of numbers.
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 1 
Archimedes
(One of the Leading Scientists in Classical Antiquity and the Greatest Mathematician of Ancient History)
Archimedes
33
Birthdate: 0287 AD
Birthplace: Syracuse, Italy
Died: 0212 AD
Greek mathematician, physicist, and astronomer Archimedes is remembered for his contribution to mathematics, especially geometry. He laid down theorems related to the area of a circle, and the area and volume of a sphere, and reached an accurate value of pi. He also invented machines such as the screw pump.
 2 
Leonardo Fibonacci
(Italian Mathematician Who was Considered to be One of the Most Talented Western Mathematicians of the Middle Ages)
Leonardo Fibonacci
14
Birthdate: 1170 AD
Birthplace: Pisa, Italy
Died: 1250 AD
Medieval Italian mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci is remembered for introducing the Hindu–Arabic numeral system to Europe through his book Liber abaci. Son of an Italian trader, he interacted with merchants along the Mediterranean coast to learn about their system of calculations. The Fibonacci sequence, too, was invented by him. 
 3 
Galileo Galilei
(Known as “Father” of Observational Astronomy who Invented the ‘Thermoscope’ and Various Military Compasses)
Galileo Galilei
10
Birthdate: February 15, 1564
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pisa, Italy
Died: January 8, 1642

An Italian astronomer, engineer, and physicist, Galileo Galilei is widely regarded as the father of observational astronomy, the father of the scientific method, the father of modern physics, and the father of modern science. He is credited with popularizing the telescope, which changed the course of history.

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 4 
Joseph Louis Lagrange
(Mathematician)
Joseph Louis Lagrange
7
Birthdate: January 25, 1736
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Turin, Italy
Died: April 10, 1813

Joseph Louis Lagrange was an Italian mathematician and astronomer who made significant contributions to the fields of number theory, analysis, and both classical and celestial mechanics. He served as the director of mathematics at the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin for over 20 years. He later moved to France and became a member of the French Academy of Sciences. 

 5 
Giordano Bruno
(Philosopher & Mathematician Known For His Cosmological Theories)
Giordano Bruno
8
Birthdate: 1548
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Nola, Italy
Died: February 17, 1600

Giordano Bruno was an Italian philosopher, friar, mathematician, cosmological theorist, poet, and Hermetic occultist. Best remembered for his cosmological theories, Bruno insisted that the universe could have no center as it is infinite. In 2004, Herbert Steffen founded the Giordano Bruno Foundation in Bruno's honor.

 6 
Gerolamo Cardano
(South African Politician and Zulu Tribal Leader Who Was Home Minister of South Africa from 1994 to 2004)
Gerolamo Cardano
7
Birthdate: September 24, 1501
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Pavia, Italy
Died: September 21, 1576

Italian polymath Gerolamo Cardano is best known for his iconic work Ars magna, or The Great Art, which contributed immensely to the field of algebra. Throughout his illustrious life, he had been a physician, a math lecturer, and an astrologer. He was also the first to describe typhus fever clinically.

 7 
Luca Pacioli
(Italian Mathematician Who is Known as the Father of Accounting and Bookkeeping)
Luca Pacioli
9
Birthdate: 1447 AD
Birthplace: Sansepolcro, Italy
Died: June 19, 1517

Luca Pacioli was an Italian Franciscan friar and mathematician. He worked closely with Leonardo da Vinci and produced works, such as Divina proportione, a book on mathematics. Luca Pacioli was an early contributor to the field which came to be known as accounting. Pacioli is widely regarded as The Father of Accounting and Bookkeeping.  

 8 
Pietro Boselli
(Italian Model, Engineer, and Former Mathematics Lecturer Known as ‘World’s Sexiest Maths Teacher’)
Pietro Boselli
16
Birthdate: December 3, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Negrar, Italy

While he had been an Armani Junior model at 6, Pietro Boselli later earned a mechanical engineering degree, completed his PhD, and taught math. After a student posted a photo of him on Facebook and it went viral, Boselli became a sensation, gaining fame as the world's hottest math teacher.

 9 
Evangelista Torricelli
4
Birthdate: October 15, 1608
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Faenza
Died: October 25, 1647

Evangelista Torricelli, a student of Galileo, later made a name for himself as a physicist and a mathematician with his invention of the barometer. He also laid down the Torricelli’s theorem and discovered the Torricellian vacuum. The torr, a unit of pressure, bears his name.

 10 
Giovanni Domenico Cassini
(Astronomer and Mathematician)
Giovanni Domenico Cassini
4
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
 11 
Maria Gaetana Agnesi
(First Woman to Write a Mathematics Handbook and the First Woman Appointed as a University Mathematics Professor)
Maria Gaetana Agnesi
3
Birthdate: May 16, 1718
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: January 9, 1799

Italian mathematician Maria Gaetana Agnesi, daughter of an affluent silk trader, was well-versed in a number of languages as a child. Most of her work was regarding algebra, calculus, and the Witch of Agnesi. She was also the first female academic to write a math book and to teach math.

 12 
Paolo Uccello
(Florentine Painter and Mathematician Known for His Pioneering Work on Visual Perspective in Art)
Paolo Uccello
3
Birthdate: 1397 AD
Birthplace: Pratovecchio, Italy
Died: December 10, 1475

Paolo Uccello was a 15th-century Florentine painter and mathematician. He worked in the Late Gothic tradition and had a style best described as idiosyncratic. As a young man, he was apprenticed to the famous sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti, with whom he collaborated on his later works. His paintings representing the battle of San Romano are considered his best. 

 13 
Nicholas of Cusa
(Mathematician, Philosopher)
Nicholas of Cusa
3
Birthdate: 1401 AD
Birthplace: Bernkastel-Kues, Germany
Died: August 11, 1464

Nicholas of Cusa was a German mathematician, astronomer, jurist, theologian, and philosopher. One of the first supporters of Renaissance humanism in Germany, Nicholas of Cusa made significant political and spiritual contributions in European history. He is remembered for his efforts to reform the universal and Roman Church.

 14 
Carlo Azeglio Ciampi
(Economist, Politician, Banker)
Carlo Azeglio Ciampi
4
Birthdate: December 9, 1920
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Livorno
Died: September 16, 2016

Former Italian president and prime minister Carlo Azeglio Ciampi had a major role in introducing Italy to the euro. He had been the governor of the Bank of Italy for 14 years and had held several portfolios, including the ministry of treasury. He was also a World War II veteran.

 15 
Giuseppe Peano
(Mathematician)
Giuseppe Peano
3
Birthdate: August 27, 1858
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cuneo, Italy
Died: April 20, 1932

Remembered as the founder of symbolic logic, Giuseppe Peano laid down the symbols of union and intersection of sets. He also worked on geometric calculus and taught at institutes such as the University of Turin. His works are written in a simplified version of Latin. He was knighted by Italy.

 16 
Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia
2
Birthdate: 1499 AD
Birthplace: Brescia, Italy
Died: December 13, 1557

Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia was the first to apply math to the science of ballistics. During the French invasion of Brescia, his jaw was sliced by a sword, causing him a speech difficulty, and thus gaining him the nickname Tartaglia, or "Stammerer." His Nova Scientia remains a significant work on mechanics.

 17 
Carlo Masi
(Mathematician)
Carlo Masi
4
Birthdate: October 6, 1976
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

Italian mathematics lecturer and award-winning former gay pornographic film actor Carlo Masi worked in the gay pornography industry with Colt Studio Group for six years before joining theatres. He later earned a B.SC degree in mathematics and a Ph.D. in Mathematical Models for Engineering, Electromagnetism and Nanosciences from the Sapienza University of Rome where he also worked as a lecturer.   

 18 
Silvio Micali
(Computer scientist, University teacher)
Silvio Micali
1
Birthdate: October 13, 1954
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Palermo, Italy
 19 
Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro
2
Birthdate: January 12, 1853
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lugo
Died: August 6, 1925

Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro pioneered the study of absolute differential calculus, or Ricci calculus, which later came to be known as tensor analysis. His studies were later used by Albert Einstein in his discovery of the theory of relativity, which is why the Ricci tensor is also known as the Einstein tensor.

 20 
Giovanni Alfonso Borelli
(Physicist, Mathematician, Astronomer, Historian of mathematics, Entomologist)
Giovanni Alfonso Borelli
2
Birthdate: January 28, 1608
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Naples
Died: December 31, 1679

While he matriculated in math and taught the subject later, Giovanni Alfonso Borelli also made pioneering discoveries as a physicist and physiologist. With works such as De Motu Animalium, he revolutionized the field of biomechanics, explaining muscular movements with the help of statics and dynamics.

 21 
Giuseppe Piazzi
(Astronomer, University teacher, Mathematician)
Giuseppe Piazzi
2
Birthdate: July 16, 1746
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ponte in Valtellina
Died: July 22, 1826

Italian Theatine priest, astronomer and mathematician Giuseppe Piazzi discovered and identified the first asteroid Ceres at Palermo Astronomical Observatory that he established in Palermo, Sicily. He first demonstrated the large proper motion of the binary star system 61 Cygni in the constellation Cygnus. He also supervised compilation of the Palermo Catalogue of stars and completion of the Capodimonte (Naples) Observatory.

 22 
Gian-Carlo Rota
(Italian-American Mathematician and Philosopher)
Gian-Carlo Rota
2
Birthdate: April 27, 1932
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vigevano, Italy
Died: April 18, 1999

Gian-Carlo Rota went down in history as the first and the only professor of applied mathematics and philosophy at MIT. His illustrious scientific career revolved around research on subjects such as combinatorics, probability, and functional analysis. He had also led the American Mathematical Society as its vice president.

 23 
Bonaventura Cavalieri
(Mathematician)
Bonaventura Cavalieri
4
Birthdate: 1598 AD
Birthplace: Milan
Died: November 30, 1647

Seventeenth-century Italian mathematician Bonaventura Cavalieri is largely remembered as someone who set the tone for integral calculus with his work on geometry. While teaching math at the University of Bologna, he developed his iconic method of indivisibles. He also introduced Italy to logarithms through his book Directorium Generale Uranometricum.

 24 
Vito Volterra
(Mathematician)
Vito Volterra
2
Birthdate: May 3, 1860
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ancona
Died: October 11, 1940

Vito Volterra is remembered for his work on calculus and functional analysis. Born into a poor family in Ancona, he used his math skills to join the University of Pisa. He later taught as mechanics professor. He was also the first to suggest the use of helium in airships.

 25 
Enrico Bombieri
(Mathematician)
Enrico Bombieri
2
Birthdate: November 26, 1940
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Milan, Italy

Fields Medal-winning Italian mathematician Enrico Bombieri is known for his work on number theory and the distribution of primes. Currently a professor at Princeton, Bombieri was 16 when he wrote his first math paper and 22 when he earned a math degree. He is also an avid painter.

 26 
Benedetto Castelli
(Mathematician)
Benedetto Castelli
1
Birthdate: 1578 AD
Birthplace: Brescia, Italy
Died: April 9, 1643

Benedetto Castelli, a Benedictine priest and a student of Galileo, later became a math professor at the University of Pisa. His On the Measurement of Water Currents is considered a fundamental work in hydraulics. He was the first to work on the principle of the barometer and sustained vacuum.

 27 
Paolo Ruffini
(Italian mathematician)
Paolo Ruffini
1
Birthdate: September 22, 1765
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Valentano, Italy
Died: May 10, 1822

Paolo Ruffini was at the same time a mathematician and a physician. He was the first to claim that the general quintic equation had no algebraic solution. Ruffini was briefly banned from teaching when he refused to submit to the new republic following the rise of Napoleon.

 28 
Guarino Guarini
(Italian Architect of the Piedmontese Baroque)
Guarino Guarini
1
Birthdate: January 17, 1624
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Modena, Italy
Died: March 6, 1683
A major influence on European Baroque architects, Guarino Guarini was not just a talented architect but also a mathematician and a priest. He had also penned books on architecture, astronomy, and mathematics, such as Euclides adauctus, and built buildings such as royal palaces, castles, churches, and chapels.
 29 
Lodovico Ferrari
(Mathematician)
Lodovico Ferrari
1
Birthdate: February 2, 1522
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Milan
Died: October 5, 1565

Starting his career as servant of Italian polymath Gerolamo Cardano, Lodovico de Ferrari proved his brilliance and earned tutelage of Cardano and became a noted mathematician of his time. He assisted Cardano on his solutions for quadratic equations and cubic equations, and is most noted for solving the quartic equations that Cardano published in his book Ars Magna.

 30 
Eugenio Beltrami
(Mathematician)
Eugenio Beltrami
3
Birthdate: November 16, 1835
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cremona, Italy
Died: February 18, 1900

Eugenio Beltrami was an Italian mathematician, whose work on the differential geometry of curves and surfaces helped to establish the soundness of non-Euclidean geometry. A faculty of University of Bologna, he dealt in wide range of subjects, establishing Beltrami equation, Beltrami identity, Beltrami's theorem, Laplace–Beltrami operator, Beltrami vector field and Beltrami–Klein model, publishing several works including Opere Matematiche.

 31 
Aloysius Lilius
(Astronomer)
Aloysius Lilius
1
Birthdate: 1510 AD
Birthplace: Cirò, Calabria, Italy
Died: 1576 AD

Aloysius Lilius, also known as Luigi Lilio, is best remembered as the main author of the Gregorian Calendar. Well-versed in medicine and astronomy, Lilius hailed from Calabria, Italy, though not much is known about his life. His calendar was presented to Pope Gregory XIII by his brother Antonio.

 32 
Camillo Agrippa
(Mathematician)
Camillo Agrippa
1
Birthdate: 1520 AD
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: January 1, 1600

Camillo Agrippa was a renowned 16th-century swordfighter who redefined the art of combat by applying geometric principles to it. He apparently also inspired the Spanish swordfight Destreza. Agrippa was also a skilled architect and mathematician. His written works include Treatise on the Science of Arms with Philosophical Dialogue.

 33 
Enrico Betti
(Mathematician)
Enrico Betti
1
Birthdate: October 21, 1823
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Pistoia, Italy
Died: August 11, 1892

Noted for his contributions in the fields of topology and algebra, Italian mathematician Enrico Betti also worked in the area of theoretical physics, particularly dealing with potential theory and elasticity. He discovered Betti's theorem and is perhaps best remembered for his 1871 paper on topology that led to the eventual naming of the Betti numbers after him.

 34 
Scipione del Ferro
(Mathematician)
Scipione del Ferro
1
Birthdate: February 6, 1465
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bologna, Italy
Died: November 5, 1526

Scipione del Ferro was the first to find a technique to solve the depressed cubic equation x3 + px = q. He taught arithmetic and geometry throughout his life and also contributed to the study of fractions that had irrational denominators. Unfortunately, none of his written works exist anymore.

 35 
Luigi Cremona
(Mathematician)
Luigi Cremona
0
Birthdate: December 7, 1830
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pavia, Italy
Died: June 10, 1903

Italian mathematician Luigi Cremona is best remembered for his work on graphical statics. A member of the Steinerian school of geometry, he was a professor, a Royal Society member, and later, a senator of the Kingdom of Italy. He also received the Steiner Prize and the German Pour le Mérite.

 36 
Giovanni Ceva
(Italian Mathematician Known for Proving 'Ceva’s Theorem' in Elementary Geometry)
Giovanni Ceva
1
Birthdate: September 1, 1647
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: May 13, 1734

Giovanni Ceva had proposed the geometric theory, the Ceva's theorem, named after him. The Italian mathematician taught at the universities of Pisa and Mantua. Apart from geometry, he had also worked on hydraulics and mathematical economics. He was the brother of poet and mathematician Tommaso Ceva.

 37 
Giorgio Valla
(Mathematician, Writer)
Giorgio Valla
1
Birthdate: 1447 AD
Birthplace: Piacenza, Italy
Died: 1500 AD
 38 
Giulio Giorello
(Philosopher)
Giulio Giorello
0
Birthdate: May 14, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: June 15, 2020

A highly intellectual scholar and a reputed epistemologist, Giulio Giorello graduated from the University of Milan with philosophy and mathematics. He later taught physics and natural science in a number of reputed universities across Italy before being appointed as professor of philosophy of science at his alma mater. A prolific writer, he published around twenty major works in his lifetime.

 39 
Tommaso Ceva
(Mathematician)
Tommaso Ceva
0
Birthdate: December 20, 1648
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: February 3, 1737

Italian Jesuit mathematician and poet Tommaso Ceva worked in geometry, arithmetic and gravity. Notable works of Ceva includes Opuscula mathematica (1699), his only work in mathematics; the scientific work De natura gravium (1699); and the religious poem Jesus Puer (1690). His brother, Italian mathematician Giovanni Ceva, is noted for proving Ceva's theorem in elementary geometry.

 40 
Paolo Frisi
(Italian Mathematician and Astronomer Best Known for His Work in Hydraulics)
Paolo Frisi
0
Birthdate: April 13, 1728
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Melegnano, Italy
Died: November 22, 1784

Italian physicist, mathematician, and astronomer Paolo Frisi is best remembered for his work on hydraulics, expressed through his books such as A Treatise on Rivers and Torrents. His interpretation of the works of eminent scientists such as Galileo and Newton, too, are considered immensely valuable to the scientific community.

 41 
Domenico Guglielmini
(Italian Mathematician, Astronomer and Physician)
Domenico Guglielmini
0
Birthdate: September 27, 1655
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bologna, Italy
Died: July 27, 1710

Domenico Guglielmini is regarded as the pioneer of the Italian school of hydraulics, though he initially worked on astronomy. Apart from being a professor of hydrometry and mathematics, he was also a part-time physician, but eventually quit his research on hydraulics to focus on medicine full-time.