**Ramiro Rampinelli** was a member of the Olivetan Order and an outstanding teacher of mathematics, most famed as the teacher of Maria Gaetana Agnesi. He flourished in Italy in the early 18th century at a time when much mathematical learning was led by those in religious Orders.

- For simplicity, however, we will refer to him as Ramiro Rampinelli throughout this biography.
- We also note that his date of birth is given in various sources as 10 August and as 16 August but the date we have given is that on his baptismal certificate which states that he was baptised on 19 August having been born to Marchesio and Angelica Rampinelli at 3 a.m. on 9 August.
- He had two friends Francesco Torriceni and professor Giovanni Battista Mazzini (1677-1743), and they were able to give Rampinelli some mathematics books.
- If it had not been for the elderly Jesuit Gerolamo Bornati, a scholar of philosophy, we would not be writing about Rampinelli's contributions to mathematics today.
- Rampinelli had not developed any systematic methods of study and had little idea about how to approach his studies.
- Rampinelli spent two years studying under Gabriele Manfredi at the University of Bologna during which time the two recognised they had certain similarities in their characters, something which greatly helped Rampinelli to adopt the good learning methods that his professor was working to instil in him.
- It is worth commenting at this point that Rampinelli would become an outstanding teacher of mathematics so it is interesting to consider whether his own difficulties in his education were actually a positive influence on his later abilities as a teacher.
- In November 1722 he entered the congregation of San Benedetto sul Monte Oliveto in Bologna as a novice, taking the name Ramiro.
- In 1727 Rampinelli moved from San Michele in Bosco to San Elena in Venice.
- Rampinelli contacted Jacopo Riccati in September 1727 and, in addition to delivering the letter, he had been asked to find out how his latest research was progressing.
- When Jacopo Riccati saw that Rampinelli was enthusiastic about learning more mathematics he offered to give him some lessons.
- As a result Rampinelli spent several weeks at Castelfranco in both 1728 and 1729 studying documents and looking at various mathematical problems advised by Jacopo Riccati.
- From Venice, Rampinelli moved to the monastery of San Benedetto in Padua and while he was there he attended lectures at the University of Padua, in particular the hydraulics lectures of Giovanni Poleni, as well as the lectures of the physician and naturalist Antonio Vallisneri (1661-1730), of the classics professor Domenico Lazzarini (1668-1734), and of the theologian Jacopo G Serry.
- whose merit lay in his ability to unite the Galilean tradition with the most recent theories and results of Newton, Leibniz, the Bernoullis, J Hermann and P Varignon that particularly interested Rampinelli.
- Rampinelli lived at the convent of San Bartolomeo in Pavia for about a year, arriving there in June 1732.
- Cesareo Giuseppe Pozzi (1718-1782) clearly benefitted greatly from Rampinelli's teaching since he became professor of mathematics at La Sapienza University in Rome.
- He revised and printed Rampinelli's treatise on optics.
- After leaving Pavia, Rampinelli then spent six months, July 1740 to December 1740, at the Franciscan monastery of San Francesco in central Brescia, living in buildings from the 13th and 14th century.
- Perhaps Rampinelli is best known today as the teacher of Maria Gaetana Agnesi and he took on this role soon after moving to Milan.
- Agnesi was not the only one to give Rampinelli the highest possible praise as a teacher.
- Rampinelli, however, was marvellously endowed with this talent.
- In 1747 Rampinelli was appointed to the chair of mathematics at the University of Pavia, which he continued to occupy until his death twelve years later.
- There is only one published work by Rampinelli, namely Lectiones optica Ⓣ(Lessons on optics) published posthumously in 1760 edited by his student Cesareo Maria Sommariva.
- These works are all written in Latin, but many Italian documents by Rampinelli still exist, containing exercises and notes, and also versions of his notes which he had clearly sent to the Riccatis, some having marginal notes in the hand of Giordano Riccati.

Born 9 August 1697, Brescia, Venetian Republic (now Italy). Died 8 February 1759, Milan, Austrian Lombardy (now Italy).

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Origin Italy

**O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F**: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive