Pierre de Fermat  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Pierre de Fermat (17 August 1601 – 12 January 1665) was a French lawyer at the Parlement of Toulouse, France, and an amateur mathematician who is given credit for early developments that led to infinitesimal calculus, including his adequality. In particular, he is recognized for his discovery of an original method of finding the greatest and the smallest ordinates of curved lines, which is analogous to that of the then unknown differential calculus, as well as his research into number theory. He made notable contributions to analytic geometry, probability, and optics. He is best known for Fermat's Last Theorem, which he described in a note at the margin of a copy of Diophantus' Arithmetica.




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