Person: Widman, Johannes
Johannes Widman was a German mathematician who is best remembered for an early arithmetic book which contains the first appearance of + and – signs.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Widman's 1486 algebra lecture is the first to be given in Germany on that topic, and amazingly still survives in a notebook of a student who attended.
- Widman used Cossist notation, as was usual at that time, discussing 24 different types of equations.
- It is, however, for an early arithmetic book Behende und hupsche Rechnung auf allen kauffmanschafft Ⓣ(Nimble and smart calculation for all merchants), published in German in 1489, that Widman is best remembered.
- in the treatises of Widman, Pellos, Pacioli, De la Roche, Ries, Rudolff, Tartaglia, and Cardan.
- was also described by Widman.
- The popularity of Widman's book can be seen from the fact that it was reprinted in 1508 in Pforzheim, in 1519 in Hagenau and in 1526 in Augsburg.
- There are no direct references to Widman after 1489 but it is believed that he was still working on mathematical topics as late as 1498.
- Widman was probably the author of the book Algorithmus Linealis published in Leipzig in 1489.
- Widman's importance is that he provided one of the first practical applications of mathematical knowledge which, because of the recent invention of printing, was made accessible to a very much wider circle of readers than had ever been achieved before.
Born 1462, Eger, Bohemia (now Cheb, Czech Republic). Died 1498, Leipzig, Germany.
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Origin Czech Republic
Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive