Thursday, August 2, 2007
Georges Louis Leclerc Comte de Buffon (1707-1788)
Genius is nothing but a great aptitude for patience.
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Georges Buffon discovered the binomial theorem when he was 20 years of age. His first work Sur le jeu de franc-carreau introduced differential and integral calculus into probability theory. He next wrote Theorie de la terre and became the most important natural historian of his day. He is remembered most in mathematics for a probability experiment which he carried out calculating by throwing sticks over his shoulder onto a tiled floor and counting the number of times the sticks fell across the lines between the tiles. This experiment caused much discussion among mathematicians which helped towards an understanding of probability. [Adapted from MacTutor]
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