Gaspard Monge


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Gaspard Monge

Born 1746 in Beaune, died 1818 in Paris, France

Monge is best remembered as the man who both invented a technique on which all the modern graphical communication is based and initiated a fundamental change in the teaching of such subjects. He was born in Beaune, in May of 1746, son of a small tradesman. The background to his understanding of mathematical concepts is largely explicable by the general development of mathematical education in France at the time.

As a young man, Monge attended school of Oratoriens based in Lyons. When he was 17, he came home during the summer, and with a help of an unidentified friend, made a map of the town of such quality that a place at l'École Royale du Génie de Mézières was offered to him. He spent the next few years in the drafting office of the École working mainly on the drawings of fortification designs. Monge used the technique which he later developed and called Descriptive Geometry for the first time when he was only about 18 years of age.

He had an extraordinary life - he was involved in the French Revolution, was one of the founders of École Polytechnique (one of the foremost institutions of higher learning in France and the world), and went on an expedition to Egypt with some other scientists when Rosetta Stone (which later led to the decipherment of hieroglyphics) was discovered near Alexandria.



See Monge's tomb in Paris here and the schools where the taught - École Normale and École Polytechnique.

See more about some famous French places of learning here.

More about Descriptive Geometry can be found here.

See about Alexandria and why it is important in the history of mathematics here.

See some other famous mathematicians here.

See them when they were children here.

You can climb the mathematical tree and see where its branches take you... click on the picture below!


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