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Person: Dechales, Claude François Milliet
Claude Dechales was a French Jesuit who published a widely used textbook on mathematics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- The Jesuit Order had been created about eighty years before Dechales was born and from the very beginning education and scholarship became the principal work of the Order.
- By the time Dechales entered the Order it contained over 16,000 men.
- Dechales participated in these two major roles of the Jesuits, for in addition to a life spent in education, he was, for a time, a Jesuit missionary in Turkey.
- Dechales lectured at Jesuit colleges, first in Paris where for four years he taught at the Collège de Clermont, then at he taught at Colleges in Lyon and Chambéry.
- Dechales is best remembered for Cursus seu mundus mathematicus Ⓣ(A complete course of mathematics) published in Lyon in 1674, a complete course of mathematics.
- Dechales anticipates some aspects of Newton's natural philosophy by emphasising questions depending on dynamics such as the concept of gravity (related to the free fall of bodies) and the mathematical treatment of air friction.
- while according Dechales due credit for his efforts, Cantor is nevertheless critical of much of the mathematical content of his work, deploring Dechales's failure to make full use of such available contemporary source materials as the first-hand works of mathematicians, their correspondence, and so on.
- Other work by Dechales included L'art de fortifier, de défendre et d'attaquer les places, suivant les méthodes françoises, hollandoises, italiennes et espagnoles Ⓣ(defending and attacking places, according to the French, Dutch, Italian and Spanish) (Paris, 1677), and L'art de naviger demontré par principes et confirmé par plusieurs observations tirées de l'experience Ⓣ(The art of navigation demonstrated by principles and confirmed by several observations from experience) (Paris, 1677).
- In 1678 he published in Lausanne his edition of Euclid, The Elements of Euclid Explained in a New but Most Easy Method: Together with the Use of Every Proposition through All Parts of the Mathematics, written in French by That Most Excellent Mathematician, F Claude Francis Milliet Dechales of the Society of Jesus.
Born 1621, Chambéry, France. Died 28 March 1678, Turin (now Italy).
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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