You are here

Mathematical Treasure: Van Schooten’s De Organica

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

Frans van Schooten (1615-1660) was a versatile Dutch mathematician. His De Organica Conicarum Sectionum (1646) focused on the mechanical construction of the conic sections. Much of the book’s content was republished in van Schooten’s Exercitationes mathematicae (1657).

Page 67 contains an illustration demonstrating the use of a linkage in the construction of an hyperbola.

On page 92, van Schooten completed a discussion of the solution of a cubic equation and quoted Albert Girard’s Invention novella en l’algebra (1629).


The images of De Organica above were supplied by Professor Jan van Maanen, University of Utrecht, Netherlands.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Van Schooten’s De Organica," Convergence (August 2016)