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On This Day

  • 12-9-1667

    William Whiston born in Leicestershire, England. In 1701, Newton arranged for Whiston to succeed him as Lucasian professor. In 1710 he was "deprived" of the chair and driven from Cambridge for his unorthodox religious views.

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    William Whiston
    Isaac Newton
  • 12-9-1906

    Computer pioneer Grace Hopper born in New York, NY. While working for private industry, she invented the compiler that would become the COBOL computer language. She retired from the U.S. Navy as a Rear Admiral in 1986 at the age of 80.

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    Grace Hopper
  • 12-9-1911

    Henri Poincare wrote the editor of a mathematical journal to ask if, contrary to custom, an unfinished piece of work could be published. He explained that at his age he may not be able to finish it, but that his work might provide ideas for another. The paper was published and not long afterwards George David Birkhoff (1884-1944) completed the solution. Poincare died suddenly on July 17, 1912.

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    Henri Poincare
    George David Birkhoff

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