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Reductio ad absurdum, which Euclid loved so much, is one of a mathematician's finest weapons. It is a far finer gambit than any chess play: a chess player may offer the sacrifice of a pawn or even a piece, but a mathematician offers the game.
A Mathematician's Apology, London, Cambridge University Press, 1941.
The Enigmatic Number e: A History in Verse and Its Uses in the Mathematics Classroom
Links to Resources: Biographies and Topics
The hyperlinks to biographical information in the poem's text are from the excellent source: J.J. O'Connor and E.F. Robertson, The MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive, University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Additional biographical and historical links are provided below for variety and pedagogical usefulness.
Jost Bürgi (1552-1632)
Christian Goldbach (1690-1764)
Euler's correspondence with Goldbach: Lettre XV, November 25, 1731
Charles Hermite (1822-1901)
Christiaan Huygens (1692-1695)
Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716)
Nicolaus Mercator (1620-1687)
Gregorius Saint-Vincent (1584-1667)
Brook Taylor (1685-1731)
Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org) is a rich online source of information about most of the topics mentioned in the poem. Unfortunately, Wikipedia's open-editing policy makes the accuracy of the information on its site uncertain. For this reason we provide links to different online sources. Whenever possible, we have chosen sites where the information is presented with students and educators in mind.
Derangements and the Hat-Check Problem
i (imaginary unit)
Logarithm and natural logarithm (ln)
Roots of unity
Series (infinite sums)
Glaz, Sarah, "The Enigmatic Number e: A History in Verse and Its Uses in the Mathematics Classroom," Loci (April 2010), DOI: 10.4169/loci003482