# Famous Swiss Mathematicians

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Swiss mathematicians have casted an overpowering effect on the field of mathematics. They are lauded for their ground-breaking contribution in the field of calculus, trigonometry, geometry and so on. Their research and findings led to the discovery of many unknown facts and facets of mathematics which helped in the better understanding of the subject. While talking of Swiss mathematicians, the first name that strikes the mind is that of Jacob Bernoulli. He has through his research delivered to the world the first type of law of large numbers in the probability theory. He has also contributed greatly to the parallels of logic, algebra and geometry. His brother, Johann Bernoulli, is credited for developing the isochrone and tautchrone concepts and made major contributions to differential equations, optics, clock construction and mathematics of ship sails. Leonhard Euler, the famous Swiss mathematician, introduced mathematical notations and terminology such as the concepts of mathematical functions. In the 20th century Switzerland, Paul Bernays played a pivotal role in expanding the knowledge of mathematics further. He developed the finitist concept and made vast contribution by developing the axiomatic set theory and the philosophy of mathematics. Check this section further to find out more about Swiss mathematician, their life, profile, works and timeline.

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**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: **December 27, 1654

**Sun Sign: **Capricorn

**Birthplace: **Basel, Switzerland

**Died: **August 16, 1705

Born into a family of drug merchants, Jacob Bernoulli was forced to study theology by his father but later deviated to math. He taught math and laid down the *Bernoulli’s equation* and *calculus of variations*. Apart from him and his brother, Johann Bernoulli, his family later produced more great mathematicians.

**Birthdate: **February 8, 1700

**Sun Sign: **Aquarius

**Birthplace: **Groningen

**Died: **March 17, 1782

Daniel Bernoulli was a Swiss physicist and mathematician. Born into the popular Bernoulli family of mathematicians, Daniel Bernoulli is renowned for his applications of mathematical equations to mechanics. He is also remembered for his pioneering work in statistics and probability. In 2002, he was inducted into the* International Air & Space Hall of Fame.*

**Birthdate: **August 6, 1667

**Sun Sign: **Leo

**Birthplace: **Basel

**Died: **January 1, 1748

Brother and colleague of Swiss mathematician Jacob Bernoulli and part of the famous Bernoulli family of mathematicians, Johann Bernoulli was initially pushed to join his family business of drug and spices. He later took up medicine, eventually deviating to math and contributing to infinitesimal calculus, along with Jacob.

**Birthdate: **August 26, 1728

**Sun Sign: **Virgo

**Birthplace: **Mulhouse, France

**Died: **September 25, 1777

Johann Heinrich Lambert was a Swiss polymath whose contributions to the fields of physics, mathematics, map projections, astronomy, and philosophy are considered important by many scholars. He is credited with introducing hyperbolic functions into trigonometry. He is also credited with inventing a hygrometer, which is used to measure the quantity of water vapor in soil and air.

6

Nicolas Fatio de Duillier

(Astronomer, Mathematician)

**Birthdate: **February 26, 1664

**Sun Sign: **Pisces

**Birthplace: **Basel, Switzerland

**Died: **May 10, 1753

A close associate of Isaac Newton, Swiss mathematician Nicolas Fatio de Duillier, was, according to many, the reason for Newton’s nervous breakdown after they fell apart. He is best remembered for co-discovering the phenomenon of *zodiacal light* and for inventing the *shadow theory of gravitation*.

7

Jakob Steiner

(Swiss Mathematician Who Was One of the Founders of Modern Synthetic and Projective Geometry)

**Birthdate: **March 18, 1796

**Sun Sign: **Pisces

**Birthplace: **Utzenstorf, Switzerland

**Died: **April 1, 1863

Swiss mathematician Jakob Steiner is remembered for pioneering the field of projective geometry. Born to a farmer, he didn’t have initial schooling and couldn’t write until age 14. His parents were against his decision to join school at 18. He later rose to be a significant figure of synthetic geometry.

8

Marcel Grossmann

(Mathematician)

**Birthdate: **April 9, 1878

**Sun Sign: **Aries

**Birthplace: **Budapest

**Died: **September 7, 1936

Swiss mathematician Marcel Grossmann was the son of a textile factory manager but became a geometry professor instead of following in his father’s path. He later co-established the **Swiss Mathematical Society **and collaborated with Albert Einstein on a paper that formed the basis of Einstein’s theory of gravity.

9

Gabriel Cramer

(Mathematician, Physicist, University teacher)

**Birthdate: **July 31, 1704

**Sun Sign: **Leo

**Birthplace: **Geneva

**Died: **January 4, 1752

Born to a doctor, Gabriel Cramer showed an interest in math since childhood. He received his doctoral degree at 18 and was named the co-chair of the **University of Geneva** at 20. Known for his research on algebraic curves, he is also remembered for devising *Cramer’s rule* and *Cramer’s paradox*.

10

Joost Bürgi

(Swiss Mathematician Who Invented Logarithms Independently of the Scottish Mathematician John Napier)

**Birthdate: **February 28, 1552

**Sun Sign: **Pisces

**Birthplace: **Lichtensteig, Switzerland

**Died: **January 31, 1632

Known as the man who invented logarithms in a study independent of John Napier, Swiss mathematician Joost Bürgi was initially a clockmaker of Duke Wilhelm IV’s court. His geometrical and astronomical instruments made him popular, and he joined the service of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II.

11

Paul Bernays(Swiss Mathematician Who Made Significant Contributions to ‘Mathematical Logic’, ‘Axiomatic Set Theory’, and the ‘Philosophy of Mathematics’)

**Birthdate: **October 17, 1888

**Sun Sign: **Libra

**Birthplace: **London, England

**Died: **September 18, 1977

Paul Bernays was a Swiss mathematician best remembered for his association with the German mathematician David Hilbert. Bernays is also remembered for making significant contributions to the philosophy of mathematics, axiomatic set theory, and mathematical logic. Paul Bernays is credited with publishing a two-volume work titled *Grundlagen der Mathematik*, which houses the famous *Hilbert–Bernays paradox.*

12

Johann Jakob Balmer

(Swiss mathematician)

**Birthdate: **May 1, 1825

**Sun Sign: **Taurus

**Birthplace: **Lausen

**Died: **March 12, 1898

Apart from teaching at a secondary school, Johann Jakob Balmer also taught geometry at the **University of Basel**. The Swiss mathematician is best remembered for his *Balmer series *formula for the hydrogen atom, which was later explained by Niels Bohr. He made a contribution to the field of atomic spectroscopy.

13

Armand Borel

(Swiss mathematician)

**Birthdate: **May 21, 1923

**Sun Sign: **Gemini

**Birthplace: **La Chaux-de-Fonds

**Died: **August 11, 2003

Swiss mathematician and **Princeton** professor Armand Borel is remembered as a co-creator of the theory of linear algebraic groups. He also had a strong connection with France, having been a student of French mathematician Jean Leray and having been named a foreign member of the **Académie des Sciences**.

14

Nicolas Fuss

(Mathematician)

**Birthdate: **January 29, 1755

**Sun Sign: **Aquarius

**Birthplace: **Basel, Switzerland

**Died: **January 4, 1826

Nicolas Fuss was mathematically gifted and became an assistant to mathematician Leonhard Euler, who needed a secretary after being rendered partially blind due to a surgery. In course of time, he contributed to areas such as spherical trigonometry, differential geometry, and optics. He was also named to the **Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences**.

15

Rudolf Wolf

(Swiss Astronomer and Mathematician Best Known for His Research on 'Sunspots')

**Birthdate: **July 7, 1816

**Sun Sign: **Cancer

**Birthplace: **Fallenden, Switzerland

**Died: **December 6, 1893

Swiss astronomer Rudolf Wolf initially taught math and physics at the **University of Bern** and later switched to teaching astronomy. He then joined both the **University of Zurich **and **ETH Zurich**. Best remembered for his studies on sunspot activity, he established what are now known as *Wolf’s sunspot numbers*.