(1707-1783)

The greatest mathematician of the eighteenth century, Leonhard Euler was
born in Basel, Switzerland. There, he studied under another giant of
mathematics, Jean Bernoulli. In 1731 Euler became a professor of physics
and mathematics at St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. Euler was the most
prolific mathematician of all time, publishing over 800 *different books and
papers*. His influence was felt in physics and astronomy as well. Euler's
work on mathematical analysis, *Introductio in analysin infinitorum* (1748)
remained a standard textbook for well over a century. For the princess of
Anhalt-Dessau he wrote *Lettres a une princesse d'Allemagne* (1768-1772),
giving a clear non-technical outline of the main physical theories of the
time.

One can hardly write mathematical equations without copying Euler. Notations
still in use today, such as *e* and , were developed by Euler. He is
perhaps best known for his research into mathematical analysis. Euler's
formula:

cos*(x)* + isin*(x)* = e ^{(ix)}

demonstrates the relationship between analysis, trignometry and imaginary numbers, in one beautiful and elegant equation.

Leonhard Euler died in 1783, leaving behind a legacy perhaps unmatched, and certainly unsurpassed, in the annals of mathematics.

*Math 895: The History of Mathematics*