(circa 570 – 495 BC)
Pythagoras is among the greatest mathematicians of the ancient world. And his influence remains alive till this day. Like all pre-Christ scholars, little is known about him. 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, as well as in Babylon; and is reputed to have had extensive knowledge which was ahead of his time. His spheres of interest included: philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, religion, literature, ethics and logic. He would influence notable minds like: Philolaus, Plato, Eudoxus and Euclid. As was customary during his days, science had no defined boundary. Scientists (in those days) were the philosophers who incorporated arithmetic, geometry, astronomy or medicine into their curricula. This sage had followers, called Pythagoreans, with whom he was closely associated. No publication from these Pythagoreans survived; yet, most scholars (from antiquity) agree that Pythagoras actually postulated his famous theorem. And this is despite evidence which suggest that the Egyptians, Babylonians and Asians were familiar with the logic behind that theorem: long before Pythagoras was born. Notwithstanding, he is credited with tendering its first proof. Pythagoras’ Theorem remains a popular topic. For over 2500 years, it served as a fundamental staple of plane geometry. Apart from this theorem, other math concepts named after him include a prime, a field, a constant and a trigonometric identity. There are also a 130-kilometer-wide Pythagoras lunar crater and a 6143 Pythagoras asteroid.