Girard Desargues, French mathematician & engineer

Girard Desargues, French mathematician & engineer

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Girard Desargues. Engraving of Girard Desargues (1591-1661), French mathematician and engineer, reporting on engineering work during the siege of La Rochelle, France, in 1628. Desargues (at centre) later became a technical director to the French government. In 1630 he joined a group of mathematicians in Paris & began work on geometry. He specialised in projective geometry and introd- uced the concept of parallel lines meeting at infinity. His style of writing was difficult to understand and he circulated his ideas poorly, reducing his influence to the extent that many of his ideas were independently rediscovered. From 1645 Desargues began a new career as an architect.

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Keywords: desargues, engineer, geometry, girard, la rochelle, mathematician, portraits, siege of, surname d

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