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72 years

   
Born at Bruges in 1548; died at Leyden in 1620. He was for some years book-keeper in a business house at Antwerp; later he secured employment in the administration of the Franc of Bruges. After visiting Prussia, Poland, Sweden, and Norway he took up his residence in the Netherlands, where he spent the rest of his life. The Stadtholder Maurice of Nassau esteemed him so highly that he studied under his direction mathematics, science, and engineering, rewarding him for his services by making him director of finances, inspector of dykes of the Low Countries, and quartermaster-general of the Government. His was an upright, modest, and inventive mind. His influence on the development of science was great and lasting. He began with the publication in 1582 of his "Tafelen van Interest" (Tables of Interest; Plantin, Antwerp), thus distributing through the business world an easy and valuable method of calculation, still carefully preserved by the wealthy merchants of the Low Countries. Then came successively: in 1583 the "Problematum geometricorum libri V", a very original work, somewhat imperfectly reproduced in subsequent editions of the author's works, the "Dialektike ofte bewysconst", a treatise on logic, re-edited at Rotterdam in 1621, but not found in the large editions of the author's works, and "De Thiende", a small pamphlet of thirty-six pages containing the oldest systematic and complete explanation of decimal calculus, both published by Plantin at Leyden in 1585. "De Thiende" has often caused its author to be regarded as the inventor of calculus; he was indisputably the first to bring to light its great advantages. Stevin translated the pamphlet into French and re-edited it the same year under the title "La Disme", with his Arithmetic published at Antwerp by Plantin. In 1586 appeared the most famous of his works, "De Beghinselen der Weeghconst, De Weeghdaet, De Beghinselen der Waterwichts" (Antwerp). This was the first edition of his mechanics, in which he sets forth for the first time several theorems since then definitely embodied in science; the hydrostatic paradox; equilibrium of bodies on inclined planes; the parallelogram of forces, formulated, it is true, under a different enunciation by constructing a triangle by means of two components and their results.

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Born at Bruges in 1548; died at Leyden in 1620. He was for some years book-keeper in a business house at Antwerp; later he secured employment in the administration of the Franc of Bruges. After visiting Prussia, Poland, Sweden, and Norway he took up his residence in the Netherlands, where he spent the rest of his life. The Stadtholder Maurice of Nassau esteemed him so highly that he studied under his direction mathematics, science, and engineering, rewarding him for his services by making him director of finances, inspector of dykes of the Low Countries, and quartermaster-general of the Government. His was an upright, modest, and inventive mind. His influence on the development of science was great and lasting. He began with the publication in 1582 of his "Tafelen van Interest" (Tables of Interest; Plantin, Antwerp), thus distributing through the business world an easy and valuable method of calculation, still carefully preserved by the wealthy merchants of the Low Countries. Then came successively: in 1583 the "Problematum geometricorum libri V", a very original work, somewhat imperfectly reproduced in subsequent editions of the author's works, the "Dialektike ofte bewysconst", a treatise on logic, re-edited at Rotterdam in 1621, but not found in the large editions of the author's works, and "De Thiende", a small pamphlet of thirty-six pages containing the oldest systematic and complete explanation of decimal calculus, both published by Plantin at Leyden in 1585. "De Thiende" has often caused its author to be regarded as the inventor of calculus; he was indisputably the first to bring to light its great advantages. Stevin translated the pamphlet into French and re-edited it the same year under the title "La Disme", with his Arithmetic published at Antwerp by Plantin. In 1586 appeared the most famous of his works, "De Beghinselen der Weeghconst, De Weeghdaet, De Beghinselen der Waterwichts" (Antwerp). This was the first edition of his mechanics, in which he sets forth for the first time several theorems since then definitely embodied in science; the hydrostatic paradox; equilibrium of bodies on inclined planes; the parallelogram of forces, formulated, it is true, under a different enunciation by constructing a triangle by means of two components and their results. More...

 
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