The greatest mathematician of the eighteenth century, **Lenhard Euler** was
born in Basel, Switzerland. There, he studied under another giant of
mathematics, **Jean Bernoulli**. In 1731 Euler became a professor of physics
and mathematics at St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. Euler was the most
prolific mathematician of all time, *publishing over 800 different books and
papers*. His influence was felt in physics and astronomy as well. Euler's
work on mathematical analysis, *Introduction in analysis infinitum* (1748)
remained a standard textbook for well over a century. For the princess of
Anhalt-Dessau he wrote *Letters à une princesse d'Allemagne* (1768-1772),
giving a clear non-technical outline of the main physical theories of the
time.

One can hardly do math without copying Euler. Notations still in use today,
such as *e* and π, were introduced in Euler's writings. He is perhaps best known
for his research into mathematical analysis. Euler's formula

cos(x) +isin(x) =e^{(ix)}

demonstrates the relationship between algebra, complex analysis, and trigonometry. From this equation, it's easy to derive the equation

e^{(π i)}+ 1 = 0

which relates the fundamental constants: 0, 1, π, *e*, and *i* in a single
beautiful and elegant statement.

Lenhard Euler died in 1783, leaving behind a legacy perhaps unmatched, and certainly unsurpassed, in the annals of mathematics.

Math 895: The History of Mathatics