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Person: Stampioen, Jan Jansz de Jonge
Jan Stampioen was a Dutch mathematician who published a work on spherical trigonometry.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- We know relatively little about the life of Jan Stampioen Jr, and essentially nothing about his early life, but he appears to have been brought up and educated in Rotterdam.
- Stampioen taught mathematics in Rotterdam where, in 1632, he published his own treatment of spherical trigonometry appended to van Schooten's sine tables.
- Descartes presented a solution but it was rejected by Stampioen as not being complete.
- Stampioen's criticism was fair for although Descartes had taken the geometric problem and derived the correct quartic equation, he left the problem there without solving the quartic.
- Fair though Stampioen's criticism was, it was definitely unwise for he made an enemy of Descartes who was a very powerful figure.
- In 1638 Stampioen moved from Rotterdam to The Hague on being appointed tutor to the twelve year old Prince William.
- How successful Stampioen was in tutoring William, and whether this had any bearing on his years as Prince of Orange, we can only leave to the imagination.
- The move to the Hague to become tutor to William, however, set Stampioen on a new career for, while in The Hague, he opened a printing shop in which he printed his own writings on mathematics.
- In 1639 Stampioen published Algebra or the New Method , a work which he had written while still teaching in Rotterdam.
- The problem which Stampioen was interested in came as a consequence of using the Cardan-Tartaglia formula to solve cubic equations.
- Stampioen let this cube root be A+√BA + √BA+√B, where a,b,Aa, b, Aa,b,A and BBB are all natural numbers.
- Since we know that Descartes described his rule in a letter to Waessenaer written on 1 February 1640, it looks as though Descartes was probably out to discredit Stampioen and realised that it would be even more telling if it came from a relatively unknown mathematician.
- Stampioen rejected Waessenaer's solution which prompted Waessenaer to reply with a broadly based attack on the mathematics contained in Stampioen's Algebra or the New Method.
- Was Stampioen correct?
- It may indicate that Descartes actually had a higher opinion of Stampioen than that which he showed in public.
- Little else is known about Stampioen.
Born 1610, Rotterdam, Netherlands. Died 1690, The Hague, Netherlands.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive