Friday, May 5, 2017

Ferrari - not the car designer, but the Renaissance mathematician

Image from wikipedia

Lodovico Ferrari of Bologna (1522-1565) was the first to discover an alegebraic solution to the quartic or biquadratic equation.

Taken in and trained by Gerolamo Cardano, Ferrari learned from his patron's lectures and eventually succeeded him as a mathematics lecturer in Milan. Ferrari publicly challenged fellow mathematician Nicolo Tartaglia over how to solve cubic equations, beating him in a math contest in 1548. This success gave him a chance at the job of tax assessor in Mantua, where he gained considerable wealth. Later, a quarrel with the Cardinal obliged him to leave his post.

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