Questions On Mathematicians and Math

Aleph Null is a term invented by whom and for what purpose?

A “mathematician’s mathematician,” this person came from India to England in 1914 to study mathematics with Godfrey H. Hardy and developed a notebook of some six thousand theorems of algebra, trigonometry, calculus, and analytic geometry. He died of tuberculosis in 1920 at the age of 33. Who was he?

Who wrote under the pen name M. LeBlanc?

Is this a test? :slight_smile:

I believe that Aleph null was invented by Georg Cantor for use in discussing the orders of different infinite sets. Cantor developed Cardinal numbers which could be used to denumerate infinite sets in the same way that natural numbers are used to denumerate finite sets. For instance, Cantor showed that the set of real numbers contains more elements than the set of natural numbers, despite the fact that both sets are infinite. Aleph Null is the lowest cardinal number, sort of like one is the lowest natural number.

The man you are talking about is named Srinivasa Ramanujan, a self taught genius.

M. LeBlanc is a pseudonym of one Martin Blank, a famed international assassin who dissapeared near Detroit in the mid-90’s. He is rumored to have retired and to be living in seclusion with his high school sweetheart. :smiley:

Ramanujan, while a productive mathematician, died
in a hovel from an untreated disease. He couldn’t afford medical care. He was a great Mathematician - but that greatness was no guarantee of recognition, nor of employment in the field at the time (maybe not even today?).

Your turn now: What mathematician spent a fair amount of time in jail, was dismissed during his life as a rabble rouser, and wasn’t published until after he had died from a bullet wound?

Sounds like Galois.


Leblanc was the pseudonym of a Frenchwoman, Sophie Germain (sp?).

Though Ramanujan’s early death was undoubtedly tragic, this is slightly over-romanticising the circumstances. At the time of his death he was a professor at the University of Madras and, while his ill-health had prevented him from carrying out any of the duties of this position, he was surely receiving the relatively good salary (£250 a year) that went with the job. He was also still receiving a fellowship from Trinity College, Cambridge. Far from being untreated, he had a whole succession of doctors. If it was advanced TB - which was what was eventually diagnosed - it’s fairer to describe his case as untreatable in 1920 rather than untreated.
Nor was he unrecognised by this stage. Indeed he seems to have been treated as a minor celebrity on his return to India from England - where he’d been appointed FRS, after all.