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The Enigmatic Number e: A History in Verse and Its Uses in the Mathematics Classroom - Links to Resources: Biographies and Topics

Sarah Glaz (University of Connecticut)


The hyperlinks to biographical information in the poem's text are from the excellent source: J.J. O'Connor and E.F. Robertson, The MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive, University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Additional biographical and historical links are provided below for variety and pedagogical usefulness.

Jacob Bernoulli (1654-1705)

Jost Bürgi (1552-1632)

Leonard Euler (1707-1783)

Christian Goldbach (1690-1764)

Euler's correspondence with Goldbach: Lettre XV, November 25, 1731

Charles Hermite (1822-1901)

Christiaan Huygens (1692-1695)

Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716)

Nicolaus Mercator (1620-1687)

John Napier (1550-1617)

William Oughtred (1574-1660)

Gregorius Saint-Vincent (1584-1667)

Brook Taylor (1685-1731)


Wikipedia ( is a rich online source of information about most of the topics mentioned in the poem. Unfortunately, Wikipedia's open-editing policy makes the accuracy of the information on its site uncertain. For this reason we provide links to different online sources. Whenever possible, we have chosen sites where the information is presented with students and educators in mind.

Bernoulli trials


Complex numbers

Compound interest

Continued fractions

Derangements and the Hat-Check Problem


Differential Equations (click on Differential Equations)

e (e to 200 billion digits) (irrationality of e) (transcendentality of e) (online computation of e)

Euler's Identity

Exponential function

i (imaginary unit)


Irrational numbers


Logarithm and natural logarithm (ln)

Number Theory (click on Number Theory)

Pi (π)

Probability (click on Probability and Statistics)

Rectangular hyperbola

Roots of unity

Series (infinite sums)

Slide rule

Taylor series expansion

Transcendental numbers

Sarah Glaz (University of Connecticut), "The Enigmatic Number [i]e:[/i] A History in Verse and Its Uses in the Mathematics Classroom - Links to Resources: Biographies and Topics," Convergence (November 2010), DOI:10.4169/loci003482