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On his 250th birthday, Joseph Fourier’s math still makes a difference
20.06.2021 Richard Gunderman and David Gunderman
Mathematics
Joseph Fourier

March 21 marks the 250th birthday of one of the most influential mathematicians in history. He accompanied Napoleon on his expedition to Egypt, revolutionized science’s understanding of heat transfer, developed the mathematical tools used today to create CT and MRI scan images, and discovered the greenhouse effect.

His name was Joseph Fourier. He wrote of mathematics: “There cannot be a language more universal and more simple, more free from errors and obscurities … Mathematical analysis is as extensive as nature itself, and it defines all perceptible relations.” Fourier’s work continues to shape life today, especially for people like ourselves working in fields such as mathematics and radiology.

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