(circa 570 – 495 BC)
Like most pre-Christ scholars, little is known about Pythagoras’ life. He was one of the most influential mathematicians of the ancient world. And his influence remains alive till this day. As a primordial scientist, what made him tick during his era may seem trivial today. But that is often the case with pathfinders. He is believed to have been educated in Greece, Egypt and Babylon; and is reputed to have had extensive knowledge which was ahead of his time. His spheres of interest were philosophy, mathematics, religion, astronomy, ethics and politics. He influenced notable minds like: Philolaus, Plato, Eudoxus and Euclid. As was customary during his days, science had no defined boundary. Scientists (at that time) were those philosophers who incorporated arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and/or medicine into their curricula. This sage had followers (known as Pythagoreans) with whom he was closely associated. No treatise from these Pythagoreans survived; yet, scholars (right from the ancient times) agree that Pythagoras actually postulated his famous theorem. And this is despite evidence which suggest that the Egyptians, Babylonians and Indians were familiar with the logic behind that theorem long before Pythagoras was born. Notwithstanding, he is credited with tendering its first proof. Pythagoras’ Theorem is still very popular today. For over two millennia, it served as a fundamental staple of plane geometry. Apart from his famous theorem, other mathematical concepts named after him include: a constant, a prime, a field and a trigonometric identity. There is also a Pythagoras impact lunar crater.