# Mathematicians

*Right Icon*This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

A mathematician is an expert in the field of mathematics; a person who is highly skilled and knowledgeable. It is a science that deals with numbers and their interrelations, combinations and operations, data, measurements, quantity, structure, space and generalizations. The science is extensively used in the fields of finance, engineering, industries, robotics, astronomy, business, information technology, and various other fields. Mathematicians analyze data, study patterns and develop mathematical models that not only help to further human knowledge, but are also utilized for solving problems in various fields. These scientists work in the fields of pure and applied mathematics. In the pure form of this science, the researchers work through abstract problems with the sole motive of furthering human knowledge and contributing to theory formation. On the other hand, professionals working in the applied form formulate mathematical models for problem solving in real-world situations. But these two fields are overlapping—what starts out as a theoretical study may spawn some practical applications, while applied study of maths may sometimes contribute to its theoretical base. They need to be highly analytical and technologically savvy with excellent reasoning skills. Browse this section to explore about the life and works of various famous mathematicians from all over the world.

Vote for Your Favourite Mathematicians

1

Alan Turing(English Mathematician Who is Considered as the Father of Theoretical Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence)

**Birthdate: **June 23, 1912

**Sun Sign: **Cancer

**Birthplace: **Maida Vale, London, England

**Died: **June 7, 1954

Regarded as the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, Alan Turing was a distinguished mathematician and logician. During WWII, he successfully broke the challenging German Enigma machine codes thereby reducing the duration of war by a couple of years. The scientist, who was convicted for being gay, has been an inspiration for numerous films, plays and novels.

**Birthdate: **December 22, 1887

**Sun Sign: **Capricorn

**Birthplace: **Erode

**Died: **April 26, 1920

A self-taught genius Indian mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan is known for his contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory and continued fractions. Born into a humble family, the celebrated mathematician struggled with poverty but still managed to publish first of his papers in the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society. Later, his collaboration with English mathematician G. H. Hardy proved very productive.

3

Pythagoras(Greek Philosopher, Mathematician and Founder of Pythagoreanism)

**Birthdate: **0570 BC

**Birthplace: **Samos, Greece

**Died: **0495 BC

Pythagoras was an Ionian Greek philosopher. He is credited with many scientific and mathematical discoveries, including the *Sphericity of the Earth*, the *Theory of Proportions*, the* five regular solids*,* Pythagorean tuning*, and the* Pythagorean Theorem*. Pythagoras influenced other philosophers like Plato and Aristotle. His philosophy also had a major impact on personalities like Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, and Nicolaus Copernicus.

4

Aryabhata(5th & 6th Century Indian Mathematician and Astronomer who Calculated the Value of Pi)

**Birthdate: **0476 AD

**Birthplace: **Assaka

**Died: **0550 AD

Indian mathematician and astronomer Aryabhata pioneered the concept of “zero” and used it in his “place value system.” He had also worked on the approximation of pi and laid down the basic concepts of trigonometry, such as sine and cosine. He also mentioned that the Earth rotates on its axis.

**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*.

6

Archimedes(One of the Leading Scientists in Classical Antiquity and the Greatest Mathematician of Ancient History)

**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.

7

René Déscartes(French Philosopher, Mathematician and Inventor of ‘Analytic Geometry’)

**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.

**Birthdate: **June 13, 1928

**Sun Sign: **Gemini

**Birthplace: **Bluefield, West Virginia, United States

**Died: **May 23, 2015

The inspiration behind the movie **A Beautiful Mind**, John F. Nash was a legendary mathematician whose work in the area of game theory earned him the **Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences**. In his later years, he was riddled with mental illness. He later died in a car crash.

9

Euclid(Greek Mathematician Who is Considered the 'Father of Geometry')

**Birthdate: **0330 AD

**Birthplace: **Greece

Greek mathematician Euclid, also known as Euclid of Alexandria, is remembered as the *father of geometry*. One of his most significant works was his book on mathematics, *Elements*. He had worked extensively on conic sections, spherical geometry, and number theory.

**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.

11

John von Neumann(Great Mathematician Who Were Equally at Home in Pure and Applied Mathematics)

**Birthdate: **December 28, 1903

**Sun Sign: **Capricorn

**Birthplace: **Budapest, Hungary

**Died: **February 8, 1957

Hungarian-American scientist John von Neumann contributed to the development of game theory and the concept of self-replication. His work covered vast areas including math, economics, physics, and computer science. His research on nuclear physics led him to be part of the advisory committee of the **U.S. Atomic Energy Commission**.

**Birthdate: **December 26, 1791

**Sun Sign: **Capricorn

**Birthplace: **London, England

**Died: **October 18, 1871

Charles Babbage, or the “father of the computer,” invented the prototype of the world’s first mechanical calculator, the **Difference Engine**. With the help of mathematician Ada Lovelace, he also created the **Analytical Engine**, the first general-purpose computer and a precursor of the modern computer, with its looping and sequential mechanism.

**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.

**Birthdate: **April 15, 1707

**Sun Sign: **Aries

**Birthplace: **Basel

**Died: **September 18, 1783

Leonhard Euler was a Swiss physicist, mathematician, logician, geographer, astronomer, and engineer. He is credited with making influential and important mathematical discoveries, such as *graph theory *and *infinitesimal calculus*. Widely regarded as one of the **greatest and most prolific mathematicians of all time**, Leonhard Euler also made pioneering contributions to* analytic number theory* and *topology*.

**Birthdate: **0090 AD

**Birthplace: **Egypt

**Died: **0168 AD

Claudius Ptolemy was a 2nd-century mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, and geographer, who had written a number of scientific treatises, such as **The Great Treatise**, **Geography**, and the **Tetrábiblos**. He lived in Alexandria under the Roman rule in Egypt. He had also authored **Harmonics**, a book on music theory.

16

Avicenna(Persian polymath the most significant physiciansand writers of the Islamic Golden Age, and the father of early modern medicine.)

**Birthdate: **0980 AD

**Birthplace: **Afshona, Uzbekistan

**Died: **May 31, 1037

Renowned as *father of early modern medicine*, Avicenna was an illustrious Persian polymath. He is specifically distingusihed for his contributions in the fields of *medicine and Aristotelian philisophy.* He is best-known for his works namely, *The Canon of Medicine* and *The Book of Healing. *The corpus of his writings also include *alchemy, geology, psychology, geography, physics, poetry and Islamic theology.*

17

Blaise Pascal(One of the Greatest Mathematicians of All Time Who Invented the Mechanical Calculator)

**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.

**Birthdate: **December 27, 1571

**Sun Sign: **Capricorn

**Birthplace: **Weil der Stadt, Germany

**Died: **November 15, 1630

This 17th-century German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer is remembered for his pathbreaking work on optics. He invented a developed version of the refracting telescope. He also laid down *Kepler's laws of planetary motion *and wrote *Astronomia Nova, Harmonices Mundi, *and *Epitome Astronomiae Copernicanae*.

19

Hypatia(Mathematician, Astronomer and Philosopher)

**Birthdate: **0350 AD

**Birthplace: **Alexandria, Egypt

**Died: **February 29, 0415

Hypatia was a Hellenistic Neoplatonist philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer who lived during the 4th and 5th centuries. She also taught and served as a counselor. She is remembered for her commentary on Diophantus's **Arithmetica**. She was later murdered and became a symbol of feminism and of opposition to Catholic ideals.

20

James Maxwell(Scottish Mathematician and Scientist Who Gave the Classical Theory of Electromagnetic Radiation)

**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**.

21

Galileo Galilei(Known as “Father” of Observational Astronomy who Invented the ‘Thermoscope’ and Various Military Compasses)

**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.

**Birthdate: **May 18, 1048

**Sun Sign: **Taurus

**Birthplace: **Nishapur, Khorasan, Iran

**Died: **December 4, 1131

Omar Khayyam was a Persian polymath, mathematician, philosopher, astronomer, and poet. In the field of mathematics, he is best known for his work on the classification and solution of cubic equations. As an astronomer, he designed a solar calendar known as the Jalali calendar. His philosophical attitude towards life had elements of pessimism, nihilism, Epicureanism, and fatalism.

23

Eratosthenes(First Person to Calculate the Circumference of the Earth and Earth's Axial Tilt)

**Birthdate: **0276 BC

**Birthplace: **Cyrene, Libya, Shahat, Libya

**Died: **0194 BC

Greek polymath Eratosthenes of Cyrene was a mathematician, poet, geographer, music theorist, and astronomer. He also served as the **Library of Alexandria**’s chief librarian. He was also the first to calculate the Earth’s circumference and the tilt of the Earth's axis. Nicknamed *Pentathlos*, he also invented many scientific terms.

**Birthdate: **June 13, 1966

**Sun Sign: **Gemini

**Birthplace: **Saint Petersburg, Russia

Russian mathematician Grigori Perelman is best known for his work on geometry, especially Riemannian geometry, geometric analysis, and geometric topology. He declined many prizes, such as the **Fields Medal **and the **Millennium Prize**. His proof of the* Poincaré conjecture* was named the *Breakthrough of the Year* by** Science** magazine.

25

Leonardo Fibonacci(Italian Mathematician Who was Considered to be One of the Most Talented Western Mathematicians of the Middle Ages)

**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.

26

Kurt Gödel(Mathematician, Philosopher and One of the Most Significant Logicians in History)

**Birthdate: **April 28, 1906

**Sun Sign: **Taurus

**Birthplace: **Brno, Czech Republic

**Died: **January 14, 1978

Hailed as one of the greatest logicians since Aristotle, Kurt Gödel was Austrian-born American mathematician, logician, and philosopher, who earned international stardom for his *incompleteness theorem*. Also credited with developing a technique called *Gödel numbering*, he later started working on *Mathematical Platonism, *a philosophical theory that failed to attract wide acceptance.

27

George Boole(Mathematician, Philosopher, and Logician Best Known as the Author of ‘The Laws of Thought’)

**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.

**Birthdate: **0598 AD

**Birthplace: **Bhinmal

**Died: **0670 AD

Ancient Indian astronomer and mathematician Brahmagupta is best remembered for laying down rules to calculate with zero and for penning the texts *Brāhmasphuṭasiddhānta *and *Khaṇḍakhādyaka*. His other achievements include his work on surds and positive and negative numbers. He also devised a formula for the area of a cyclic quadrilateral.

**Birthdate: **0780 AD

**Birthplace: **Khwarazm, Uzbekistan

**Died: **0850 AD

Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi was a Persian polymath credited with producing influential works in the fields of geography, astronomy, and mathematics. He is referred to as the founder or father of algebra as he was the first person to recognize algebra as an independent discipline. He also made significant contributions to trigonometry; he produced precise sine and cosine tables.

**Birthdate: **0624 BC

**Birthplace: **Miletus Ancient Theater, Turkey

**Died: **0546 BC

One of the *Seven Wise Men* of Greece, Thales was a 6th-century mathematician who believed that the Earth was a flat disk floating on a huge ocean. Legend has it that he had predicted a solar eclipse that stopped a major battle and had also laid down several geometrical theorems.

31

G. H. Hardy(English Mathematician Known for His Contributions in Number Theory and Mathematical Analysis)

**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*.

**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.

**Birthdate: **March 26, 1913

**Sun Sign: **Aries

**Birthplace: **Budapest, Austria-Hungary

**Died: **September 20, 1996

Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdős spent most of his childhood at home, due to his mother’s overprotectiveness after his sisters died of scarlet fever. Known for his eccentricity, he used his own vocabulary. His contributions include the *Ramsey theory*, and he skipped many university job offers to continue working independently.

**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.

**Birthdate: **0973 AD

**Birthplace: **Beruni, Uzbekistan

**Died: **1050 AD

Apart from being a pioneer of Indology and geodesy, Persian scholar Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī also worked on subjects such as anthropology, math, and ethnography. It is believed he didn’t know his father. He had penned many works, such as the encyclopaedic volume *The Chronology of Ancient Nations*.

36

Terence Tao(One of the Greatest Living Mathematicians Who is Referred to as the 'Mozart of Mathematics')

**Birthdate: **July 17, 1975

**Sun Sign: **Cancer

**Birthplace: **Adelaide, Australia

Terence Tao is an Australian-American mathematician who works at the *University of California, Los Angeles* as a professor of mathematics. Widely considered one of the most prominent living mathematicians, Tao was honored with the prestigious *Fields Medal *in 2006. In 2014, he was awarded the *Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics*.

37

Pierre-Simon Laplace(French Mathematician and Astronomer Who was Best Known for His Investigations into the Stability of the Solar System)

**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.

38

Emmy Noether(German Mathematician Who Made Many Important Contributions to Abstract Algebra)

**Birthdate: **March 23, 1882

**Sun Sign: **Aries

**Birthplace: **Erlangen, Bavaria, Germany

**Died: **April 14, 1935

Emmy Noether was a German mathematician best remembered for her contributions to abstract algebra. She is credited with discovering *Noether's theorem*, which is regarded as a fundamental theorem in mathematical physics. One of the most important mathematicians of her generation and **the most important woman in mathematics history**, Emmy Noether developed theories of algebras, fields, and rings.

39

Benoit Mandelbrot(American Mathematician and Polymath Best Known for Popularizing the Concept of Fractal Geometry)

**Birthdate: **November 20, 1924

**Sun Sign: **Scorpio

**Birthplace: **Warsaw, Poland

**Died: **October 14, 2010

Noted mathematician and polymath, Benoit B. Mandelbrot is perhaps best known for his work on *fractal*. He not only coined the term, but also used computer-constructed images to illustrate the mathematical definition. Also credited with the discovery of *Mandelbrot set* and *Mandelbrot law, *he established that even those things which were apparently chaotic or rough had a "degree of order".

40

Isaac Newton(One of the Most Influential Scientists of All Time )

**Birthdate: **January 4, 1643

**Sun Sign: **Capricorn

**Birthplace: **Lincolnshire, England

**Died: **March 31, 1727

One of the most influential and popular scientists of all time, Sir Isaac Newton played a prominent role in our understanding of natural phenomena. He formulated the law of universal gravitation and laws of motion. He also developed the Newtonian telescope among other devices. Apart from science, Newton was also intrigued by religion, occult, and alchemy.

**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.

42

John Horton Conway(British Mathematician Known for His Contributions to 'Combinatorial Game Theory (CGT)')

**Birthdate: **December 26, 1937

**Sun Sign: **Capricorn

**Birthplace: **Liverpool, England

**Died: **April 11, 2020

Remembered as versatile mathematician, game wizard and polymath, John Horton Conway had limitless curiosity, which matched with his scientific originality. Although he is best known for devising the cellular automation called *Game of Life, *he made significant contributions to group theory, number theory, algebra, geometric topology, theoretical physics, combinatorial game theory and geometry. Conway published many outstanding papers in these fields.

43

Katherine Johnson(Mathematician and One of the First African-American Women to Work as a NASA Scientist)

**Birthdate: **August 26, 1918

**Sun Sign: **Virgo

**Birthplace: **White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, United States

**Died: **February 24, 2020

Katherine Johnson was a physicist and mathematician, remembered as the first African-American female **NASA** scientist. Her calculations helped launch the space missions of Alan Shepard and John Glenn. She was crucial to the **Apollo **program and won a **Congressional Gold Medal** and a **Presidential Medal of Freedom** for her achievements.

44

Henri Poincare(French Polymath and Mathematician Known as One of the Founders of the 'Field of Topology')

**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.

**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.

**Birthdate: **February 1, 1550

**Sun Sign: **Aquarius

**Birthplace: **Merchiston Tower, Edinburgh

**Died: **April 4, 1617

John Napier was a Scottish mathematician, astronomer, and physicist. He is credited with introducing logarithms as a means of simplifying calculations. He also invented Napier's bones, a manually-operated calculating device. In addition to his interest in mathematics, John Napier was also known for his skills as a magician; it is said that he dabbled in necromancy and alchemy.

**Birthdate: **February 19, 1473

**Sun Sign: **Pisces

**Birthplace: **Toruń, Poland

**Died: **May 24, 1543

Nicolaus Copernicus was a mathematician and astronomer. He is credited with formulating *Heliocentrism*, which led to the *Copernican Revolution*. Although Aristarchus of Samos had formulated *Heliocentrism *18 centuries earlier, Copernicus was responsible for popularizing it. Copernicus is also credited with formulating an economic principle, which was later called *Gresham's law*.

**Birthdate: **March 28, 1928

**Sun Sign: **Aries

**Birthplace: **Berlin, Germany

**Died: **November 13, 2014

Alexander Grothendieck was a 20th-century mathematician who was a leading figure in the creation of modern algebraic geometry. With his so-called "relative" perspective, he revolutionized many areas of pure mathematics. During his later career, he became a professor at the University of Montpellier. He is counted among the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century.

**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.

**Birthdate: **April 14, 1629

**Sun Sign: **Aries

**Birthplace: **The Hague, Netherlands

**Died: **July 8, 1695

From proposing the wave theory of light to discovering the actual shape of the rings of Saturn and inventing the pendulum clock, Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens had contributed a lot to science. Born to a diplomat, Huygens had the privilege of an elite education but remain sickly throughout his life.