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 cofounder of the theory of probability.
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