Pierre de Fermat (pronounced Fair-mah) was born in Beaumont-de-Lomagne, France in August of 1601 and died in 1665. He is considered to be one of the greatest mathematicians of the seventeenthcentury. Fermat's father was a leather merchant and his mother's family was in the legal profession. Fermat attended a Franciscan monastery before moving on to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in civil law fromthe University of Orleans in 1631. He married, had five children and practiced law. For the most part, Math was a hobby for Fermat. Fermat was a busy lawyer and did not let his love of math completelytake over his time. It's been said that Fermat never wanted anything to be published as he considered math to be his hobby. The only one thing he did publish - he did so anonymously. He sent many ofhis papers by mail to some of the best mathematicians in France. It was his link with Marin Mersenne that gave Fermat his international reputation. Fermat loved to dabble in math and rarely provide hisproofs (evidence or procedures for reaching conclusions), he would state theorems but neglected the proofs! In fact, his most Famous work 'Fermat's Last Theorem' remained without a proof until 1993when Andrew J. Wiles provided the first proof. During Fermat's lifetime, he received very little recognition as a mathematician, if not for the fact that others saved his papers and letters, he may notbe the legacy that he is seen as today.
Fermat is considered to be one of the 'fathers' of analytic geometry. (Along with Rene' Descartes.)
Fermat along with Blaise Pascal isalso considered to be one of the founders of probability theory.
Fermat also made contributions in the field of optics and provided a law on light travel and made wrote a few papers about calculus wellbefore Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz were actually born.
The Most Famous Question In Math History for 350 Years!
Fermat's most important work was done in the development of modern number...