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Pierre de Fermat
Pierre de Fermat.jpg
Born Between 31 October - 6 December 1607
Beaumont-de-Lomagne, France
Died 12 January 1665(1665-01-12)
(aged 57)
Education University of Orléans (LL.B., 1626)
Known for Contributions to number theory, analytic geometry, probability theory
Folium of Descartes
Fermat's principle
Fermat's little theorem
Fermat's Last Theorem
Fermat's "difference quotient" method
(See full list)
Scientific career
Fields Mathematics and law
Influences François Viète, Gerolamo Cardano, Diophantus

Pierre de Fermat (17 August 1601 – 12 January 1665) was a French lawyer at the Parlement of Toulouse, southern France, and a mathematician. Many people see him as the father of modern calculus.

His method of finding the biggest and smallest ordinates of curved lines also makes him a contributor to differential calculus, which was not known at that time. His studies in the theory of numbers give him the rank of the founder of the modern theory. He also made notable contributions to analytic geometry and probability.

He is also famous for making a simple mathematical statement (known as Fermat's Last Theorem) that he said he could prove, but he never wrote down his proof. Mathematicians tried to prove it for hundreds of years before finally managing it. Fermat probably did not really have a proof for this theorem, and only thought he did.

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