The Bernoulli's: A Family Of Reckoners

2308 words - 9 pages

Having more than one mathematician in a family is not unheard of. There have been many father-son and father-daughter duos in the history of mathematics, e.g. Theon and Hypatia, Farcas Bolyai(1775-1856) and Janos Bolyai(1802-1860), George David Birkhoff(1884-1944) and Garrent Birkhoff, Emil and Michael Artin, Elie and Henri Cartan, etc. The Riccati family in Italy managed to produce three mathematicians, but the their contributions to mathematics do not compare to that of all eight of the Bernoulli mathematicians.
The first generation of Bernoulli mathematicians include brothers Jacob I(James, Jacques) (1654-1705), Nicolaus (1662-1716), and Johann I(John, Jean) (1667-1748), second generation are brothers Daniel I (1700-1782), Johann II(1710-1790), and their cousin Nicolaus II (1687-1759), and the third generation are brothers Johann III(1746-1807) and Jacob II(1759-1789). It would be exhausting to discuss the accomplishments of all the Bernoulli mathematicians, so our focus will be on the brothers Jacob I and Johann I, who contributed a substantial amount to the fields of mathematics we know today as elementary calculus and the theory of probability.
Before the Bernoulli family was known for its mathematicians, the father of mathematical dynasty Nicolas Bernoulli(1623-1708) was known for being a successful spice trader and businessman. His family was originally from Holland, but they left Antwerp to avoid religious persecution. At the time, King Philip of Spain began enforcing the Roman Catholic beliefs in their country, but the Bernoulli's were Calvinist Protestants so they migrated to Basel, Switzerland in 1583 and settled on the bank of the Rhine. Basel was one of the main trade routes at the time, a University town since 1460, and a center for early printing and Renaissance scholars. Nicolas married into one of the town's oldest families and established himself there a prosperous merchant(Burton, 473).
The first mathematician of the Bernoulli family, Jacob I was born in 1654. As he grew, his parents insisted he study philosophy and theology, which Jacob always resented. He received a theology degree in 1676, and then moved to Geneva where he began working as a tutor(Bui, Online). Jacob eventually made his way to France where he studied with some of Rene Descartes' disciples. In 1681, he traveled to the Netherlands, and then to England where he met Robert Hook(1635-1703) and Robert Boyle(1627-1691)(Bui, Online). Of course, as a result of these travels he was able to correspond with mathematicians for many years.
In 1683, Jacob returned to Switzerland to teach mechanics at the University of Basel. He was offered an appointment to the Church because of his background in theology, but he rejected the offer because he enjoyed teaching mathematics and theoretical physics(Bui, Online). Between 1682 and 1704, Jacob published five treatises on infinite series. But in 1690, his solution to the isochrone problem was published in the Acta...

Find Another Essay On The Bernoulli's: A Family of Reckoners

Importance of a Family Essay

1485 words - 6 pages What is more important: a family or the money? The study by psychologists at the Sahlgrenska Academy and Lund University in Sweden suggests that our collective picture of what makes us happy is more about relationships and less about possessions. In the drama A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, the Younger family is struggling to live a normal life where each member wishes to fulfill his or her dream for the betterment of the family. The

Functions of a Family Essay

1240 words - 5 pages Functions of a Family Introduction Family is the name that has been designated a social organization as old as humanity itself and simultaneously with the historical evolution, has undergone changes that have allowed it to adapt to the needs of each society and every age (Cantor, 337-346). The family has many functions which bind the society together. These functions set the rules and boundaries within which families work for the members

Abandonment of a Family

1366 words - 6 pages The lacking of a positive male role model can be very troublesome for any family; especially during the mid-thirties. Prior to the Second World War, women did not have significant roles in the workforce and depended on their husbands or fathers to provide for them financially. There were limited government assistance programs during the era of The Great Depression, and it was up to the families to provide for themselves. The absence of Mr

Shadows Of A Family

830 words - 3 pages Shadows of a Family Japanese culture is one that is steeped in tradition. The Japanese only need to go back to their cultural roots to understand the importance of the family. However, with the country becoming more Westernized, its younger generation seems more independent-minded regarding traditional practices. As the children begin to follow the Western way of life, it brings tension to the older generation. The Kazuo Ishiguro's story, "A

The Effects of a Family Breakup in "A Thousand Acres"

1340 words - 5 pages Jane Smiley uses the characters' changing personalities and attitudes in A Thousand Acres to demonstrate the major effect the break up of a family can have on people. Many of the characters change through the novel with some becoming more insular and others becoming more outspoken. One of the main people to change in the novel is Ginny. However she still has one major factor that remains throughout the novel - she worries about people. In

The Role of the Family in a Child's Education

1224 words - 5 pages 1. What is your definition of family? Family is defined by the text as “two or more persons living together and linked for financial or emotional support” (Barbour, Barbour & Scully, 2011). For my purposes family is defined as those with whom I maintain a close bond, whether or not they live with me. For example, I have a brother, who might be defined as :family” as we were raised in the same house, but I also have friends that I consider

The Effects of a Tumor on the Family Members

1391 words - 6 pages The Effects of a Tumor on the Family Members A tumor that is specifically in the frontal cortex can cause many changes physically and emotionally which can affect the way you interact with your family. Some of the functions of the frontal lobe are attention, abstract thought, problem solving, intelligence, creative thought, initiative inhibition, judgment, mood, major body movements, bowel and bladder control, memory and

The Impact of a Mother’s Death on the Family

656 words - 3 pages The Impact of a Mother’s Death on the Family Death ultimately brings individuals together and the Bundren family is no exception. Each member of this chaotic family dealt with their mother Addie’s death quite differently. Throughout the novel, Cash is the silent, hard-working type who says next to nothing about his family’s crazy nature and how he exactly feels about their current situations. I believe that Cash making his mother’s coffin

The Bengal Tiger: A Memeber of the Big Cat Family

1643 words - 7 pages where they can satisfy all their needs. The female Bengals also use the habitat to give birth and grow their cubs. There are some tigers that live together, like a family unit. The area that is considered to be the group’s home has a size that depends on not just the number of male and females, but the amount of prey. Most of Bengals’ habitats are near a body of water, such as a lake, pond, or river. This is because tigers like to swim and usually

Assessing the View that Family Diversity is Leading to a Weakening of Traditional Family Values

2340 words - 9 pages Assessing the View that Family Diversity is Leading to a Weakening of Traditional Family Values Given the culturally diverse character of the United Kingdom today, there are considerable variations in family and marriage within the country. The structure of families has altered over time and is still changing today. Changing relationships between spouses in the family, and in particular, the changes in the position of women

Loss of a Family Member, and Its Effects on the Family

1940 words - 8 pages Kenji Miyazawa once said, “we must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey”. This quote applies to loss in the fact that when we face a loss we must continue our lives and use the loss to make us stronger. The loss of a family member is always hard to deal with and it affects everyone differently. Some people are open about their feelings and others bottle them up. The loss of a family member does not always refer to a death, but can

Similar Essays

The Hierarchy Of A Mafia Family

678 words - 3 pages A mafia family has a very intricate structure of power. Often it varies based on the particular family, but most have the same general configuration. At the top of the family is the boss. The boss is followed by an underboss that controls the capos underneath him. Each capo is over a certain number of soldiers. The soldiers control the business done with the associates. Another key player is the consigliere. This person serves as an ‘unbiased

The Adverse Effects Of A Broken Family

1707 words - 7 pages American families have experienced a change into lifestyles between the 1950s and now. With technology constantly being updated, consummation of drugs or alcohol, or the stress caused by the generational gap that has formed one can assume that families are no longer the same. The American family has recently been tried with multiple problems; there are not a lot relative between the parent and child to help form the bond that is required for a

The Effects Of Adoption On A Family

1258 words - 5 pages There are common ordeals and situations that can trouble a family emotionally, physically, and psychologically. Adoption is one situation a family must encounter when a child is born without a proper system of support to sustain life after birth. The causes for a family to make a heartfelt decision to place a child for adoption can have dramatic effects on the birth parents, adoptive parents, and child (Adoptee), even if the decision is meant

The Feeling Of Loosing A Family Pet

1209 words - 5 pages While I was looking through chapter 16, I was trying to figure out what literary approach would fit. The approach I found the most fitting was the reader response approach. A Dog's Death could be considered a double entendre. On one hand, John Updike is replaying an emotional tone of sadness, frustration, and the feeling of losing a family pet. To the reader, you are able to feel his pain. But, it is even more emotional if you can relate to the