The French mathematician Rene Descartes

The French mathematician Rene Descartes

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Rene Descartes. Portrait of the French mathematician & philosopher Rene Descartes (1596- 1650), also known by the latinised name Renatus Cartesius. His most important contributions to science were in mathematics. Descartes created analytical or co-ordinate geometry, known as Cartesian geometry, in which geometrical problems are converted into algebraic forms so that algebraic techniques may be applied to their solution. He attempted to explain planetary motions in terms of vortices surrounding the Sun, but his theory was later refuted. He is also considered the father of modern philosophy, and coined the phrase "I think, therefore I am".

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Keywords: astronomer, cartesian geometry, descartes, discoverer, mathematician, philosopher, planetary motion, portraits, rene, surname d

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