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On This Day

  • 12-11-1610

    Galileo composed the cypher "The mother of love emulates the figures of Cynthia" to "copyright" his claim that Venus had phases like the moon. This idea, which may have been cribbed from a student, provided the first hard evidence that the earth revolved around the sun.

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    Galileo Galilei
  • 12-11-1884

    David Hilbert passed his Ph.D. orals at the University of Konigsberg, where he would teach for nearly ten years before moving to the University of Gottingen where he spent the rest of his illustrious career.

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    David Hilbert
  • 12-11-1950

    Astronomer Leslie John Comrie, who had no claim to be a mathematician, "showed how to 'program' commercial machines for scientific computation; developed impeccable interpolation techniques; produced mathematical tables of the highest standards of accuracy and presentation; and, in effect, created computational science." For this work he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society (F.R.S.) a few months before his death on this date.

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    Leslie Comrie