Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Mathematician of the Day

     On this date, May 16, in the year 1718, the talented Maria Agnesi was born.  A great source of historical information about mathematics and mathematicians is MacTutor, a math-history website maintained by the School of Mathematics and StatisticsUniversity of St Andrews, Scotland.  One of the services that MacTutor provides is a list of names and information about mathematicians born on each day of the year.  For example, this link leads to the listing for May 16 -- and to lots of info about Agnesi.  Here, in a 7x7 syllable-square, is a brief sketch of  her life:

Maria Agnesi's life --
a complicated story --
wealthy and intelligent, 
in love with mathematics,
also very talented--
wrote a teaching text about 
differential calculus.

This 2018 Scientific American blog posting by Evelyn Lamb discusses a curve from calculus, often called (somewhat misleadingly) "the witch of Agnesi."   Previous mentions of Agnesi in this blog may be found at this link.

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