(circa 325 – 265 BC)
This pioneering dinosaur, who lived some 300 years before Jesus Christ, is the “grandfather” of geometry. Most of his works were lost; but those that survived indicated that he was the first person known to have used logical and exacting proofs in solving theorems and conjectures. He was also the first to prove that prime numbers are infinitely many; as well as the first to define and differentiate axioms from theorems. After cutting his teeth with the works of Pythagoras and Eudoxus, Euclid helped refurbish the Mathematics Department at the University of Alexandria, in Egypt. He later authored his 13 books, (collectively known as The Elements), which served as the world’s standard syllabus for more than 2000 years; and whose basis constitutes part of today’s Secondary School curricula. Likewise, the Systems Definitions and the Geometrical Axioms, which he originated, have served the world for over 2200 years. These helped consolidate his position as the most famous mathematician, the most influential mathematician, and the greatest maths tutor. In addition to geometry, Euclid did forage into algebra, arithmetic, optics and astronomy. And based on developmental similarities, as well as on direct references, Apollonius of Perga emulated him. The fact that Euclid was “bread and buttered” in Egypt exposed him to the lofty schools of thoughts which were the world’s bests then. His analytical style is a reminder of the triumphs of the Egyptian Civilization. Simply put, if you are not dripping wet with Euclidean Geometry, you have not bathed in the ocean of mathematics.