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On This Day

  • 5-4-1733

    Jean-Charles de Borda, of voting method fame, was born in Dax, France. He was a major figure in the French Navy who participated in several scientific voyages and the American Revolution. Besides his contributions to navigational instruments he did important work on fluid mechanics, even showing that Newton's theory of fluid resistance was untenable.

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    Jean-Charles de Borda
  • 5-4-1780

    American Academy of Arts and Sciences founded in Boston. It was the first national arts and sciences society in the U.S., and was founded "to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, dignity, honor and happiness of a free, independent and virtuous people." James Bowdoin was the first president.

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    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • 5-4-1845

    William Clifford born in Exeter, England. He played an important role in introducing the ideas of Riemann and other writers on non-Euclidean geometry to English mathematicians. "Clifford was a first-class gymnast, whose repertory apparently included hanging by his toes from the crossbar of a weather cock on a church tower, a feat befitting a High Churchman, as he then was."

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    William Clifford