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On This Day

  • 7-4-1662

    Entry from Samuel Pepys' diary.: "By and by comes Mr. Cooper ... of whom I entend to learn Mathematiques; and so we begin with him today .... After an hour's being with him at Arithmetique, my first attempt being to learn the Multiplication table, then we parted till tomorrow." At the time Pepys held a position akin to a modern Secretary of the Navy.

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    Samuel Pepys
    Pepys' Diary
    Samuel Cooper
  • 7-4-1843

    Liouville began an address to the Academy of Sciences with the words: "I hope to interest the Academy in announcing [that in] the papers of Evariste Galois I have found a solution, as precise as it is profound, of this beautiful problem: whether or not [the general equation of fifth degree] is solvable by radicals." This work of Galois was published in 1846.

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    Evariste Galois
    Joseph Liouville
  • 7-4-1963

    Headline from San Francisco Chronicle read "A Milestone in Math--Professor's New Concept" and the accompanying article by David Perlman announced Paul J. Cohen's proof of the independence of the axiom of choice in set theory. For this result and for proving the independence of the continuum hypothesis, Cohen received the Fields Medal at the 1966 ICM in Moscow.

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    Paul J. Cohen
    The Continuum Hypothesis