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Albert Girard


  1. Albert Girard was a French-born mathematician. He studied at the University of Leiden. He "had early thoughts on the fundamental theorem of algebra" and gave the inductive definition for the Fibonacci numbers. He was the first to use the abbreviations 'sin', 'cos' and 'tan' for the trigonometric functions in a treatise. Girard was the first to state, in 1632, that each prime of the form 1 mod 4 was the sum of two squares. It was said that he was quiet-natured and, unlike most mathematicians, did not keep a journal for his personal life.
  2. Albert Girard was a Progressive Conservative party member of the Canadian House of Commons. His background was in business.
    • born on (66 years ago)
    • nationality: Canada

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Google previewCompanion Encyclopedia of the History and Philosophy of the Mathematical Sciences (2002)

by Ivor Grattan-Guinness

Albert Girard called complex roots solutions impossibles, but nevertheless formulated the fundamental theorem of algebra, which states roughly that a polynomial of degree n has n roots. Although given without proof, the theorem quickly became a mainstay of equation theory, and thus helped ensure the complex and negative numbers permanent places in the algebraic universe. Mathematicians, however, recognized that the usefulness of ...

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