Leonhard Euler

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Leonhard Euler

Leonhard Euler 1707-1783

Euler was born in Basel Switzerland on April 15, 1707. His father, Paul, was a Protestant Minster and his mother's name was Maragret Brucker. Prior to becoming a minister, Paul Euler attended college with mathematician Johann Bernoulli who became a famiy friend. Paul had a math background and taught Leonhard elementary mathematics.

One of the first articles that Euler published dealt with reciprocal trajectories and won 2nd Place in the 1727 Grand Prize of the Paris Academy. Euler later went on to win the Grand Prize of the Paris Academy in 1738 and 1740, although he shared the title on both occasions. Euler's first book, Mechanica, was published in 1736 and was the first discussion of mathematical analysis.

In 1727, Euler began his first position in the Physiology Department at the Imperial Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersberg, Russia. While maintaining this position, he also served as a Medical Lieutenant in the Russian Navy from 1727-1730. He was able to leave this post once he became a professor of Physics at the Academy. Two years later, Euler became the head of the mathematics department. Politics in Russia were in turmoil, espcially for foreigners, and in June of 1741, Euler accepted an invitation from Frederick the Great to work at the Acadmy of Sciences in Berllin. When the Academy of Sciences was officially founded in 1744, Euler served as the Director of mathematics. He later assumed the leadership role of the Berlin Academy.He returned to St. Petersberg in 1766.

At age 13, Euler entered the University of Basel and received his Master's Degree in Philosophy in 1723. His father wanted him to follow in his footsteps and become a minister. However, mathematics piqued Euler's interest and he began reading about math on his own, taking private lessons, and saught guidence from Johann Bernoulli. With the backing of Bernoulli, Euler was able to convince his father to study mathematics.

Some of Euler's notations that we use today include:f(x) for functione for the base of natural logs∏ for pii for the square root of -1∑ for summation

Euler is regarded as one of the most prolific writers of the math world, having written more than 500 books and articles during his life, follwed by St. Petersberg Academy publishing his works for almost another 3 to 5 decades after his death.Euler's work is still in use today. Some of the titles such as "Euler's Formula" have more than one meaing and needs to be idetified by the area in whihc you are discussion. In regards to American calculus, Euler's formula refers to the exponentials of imaginary numbers regarding trig functions.

In January 1734, Euler married Katharina Gsell. He had a toal of 13 children, however, only 5 lived past infancy.Euler had several health issues throughout his life. In 1735, he suffered from a near fatal fever which caused him to have troubles with his vision.After returning to St. Petersberg in 1766, Euler fell ill again and went almost entirely blind. Following a fire to his home in 1771, he had cateract surgery, but did not follow proper post of care and became completely blind. With the help of his sons and other Academy members he was able to continue his work from memory.

On September 18, 1783, Euler suffered a brain hemorrhage and died.



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