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Pierre de Fermat

Pierre de Fermat (August 17, 1601 - January 12, 1665) was a French mathematician who is generally given minor credit for the development of calculus; in partucular, for his work regarding tangents and stationary points. He work was such that he is sometimes regarded as the "father" of, both, differential calculus and number theory. He also made notable contributions to analytic geometry and probability.

Born near Montauban, France, he died at Castres[?].

Fermat worked on number theory while preparing an edition of Diophantus, and the notes and comments thereon contained the numerous theorems of considerable elegance necessary to develop the theory of numbers.

Together with René Descartes, Fermat was one of the two leading mathematicians of the first half of the 17th century. Independently of Descartes, he discovered the fundamental principle of analytic geometry. Through his correspondence with Blaise Pascal, he was a co-founder of the theory of probability.

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