Léonard Euler
Euler was born in Basle where he received all his education. His father, Paul, was a Calvinist minister who was very knowledgeable in mathematics, having been a student of Jacob Bernoulli; as an undergraduate Léonard was to train for the ministry, but studying with Johannes Bernoulli and befriending Daniel and Nicolaus Bernoulli, he changed to mathematics. Euler, however, still retained his strong Calvinist beliefs throughout his life. He spent his entire career at the St. Petersberg and Berlin Academies, first at St. Petersberg in 1727, then to Berlin in 1740, and back to St. Petersberg in 1766. He was the most prolific mathematician of all time; it is estimated that his collected works, still in the process of being printed, will exceed 100 volumes. This is especially remarkable in that he lost his sight in one eye at the age of 30 and was completely blind for the last, still extremely productive, 17 years of his life. Euler was not a teacher, but he was the first to arrange and codify the calculus; it has been said that every calculus text is a recursive copy of Euler's three volumes Introductio in Analysin Infinitorum, Institutiones Calculi Differentialis, and Institutiones Calculi Integralis. He is perhaps the greatest manipulator of infinite series of all time and was the first to determine that . He was not always concerned with the required convergence in his manipulations, but his deep insight prevented him from error on all but a few occasions. The physicist Arago said `He calculated without apparent effort, as men breathe, or as eagels sustain themselves in the wind'. Although primarily an analyst, he made major contributions to all areas of mathematics. He discovered the beautiful equation
that relates all the important constants of mathematics; it appears on the Swiss stamp in his honor.
Léonard Euler (1707-1783) |
Léonard Euler (1707-1783) |
Russia (1957), No. 1932 |
Russia (1957), No. 1932 |
Léonard Euler (1707-1783) |
Léonard Euler (1707-1783) |
German Democratic Republic (1950) |
German Democratic Republic (1957) |
No. 58 |
no. 353 |
Léonard Euler (1707-1783) |
Léonard Euler (1707-1783) |
Switzerland (1957), No. b267 |
German Democratic Republice (1983), No. 2371 |