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The Princeton Companion to Mathematics by Imre Leader, June Barrow-Green, Timothy Gowers

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VI.22 Joseph Louis Lagrange

b. Turin, Italy, 1736; d. Paris, 1813Number theory; algebra; analysis; classical and celestial mechanics

In 1766 Lagrange left his native Turin, where he had been a founding member of what would later become the Turin Academy of Sciences, to become the mathematics director at the Berlin Academy of Sciences. In 1787 he moved to Paris to take up a position as a pensionnaire veteran at the Academy of Sciences. In Paris he also lectured at the École Polytechnique, founded in 1794, and served as one of the members of the committee that established the modern metric system.

Lagrange was only nineteen years old when he wrote to EULER [VI.19] announcing a new formalism to simplify Euler’s method for finding a curve that ...

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