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Euclid is one of the most influential and best read mathematician of all time His prize work Elements was the textbook of elementary geometry and logic up to the early twentieth century For his work in the field he is known as the father of geometry and is considered one of the great Greek mathematicians Very little is known about the life of Euclid Both the dates and places of his birth and death are unknown It is believed that Euclid was educated at Platos academy in Athens and stayed there until Ptolemy I invited him to teach at his newly founded university in Alexandria There Euclid founded a school of mathematics and remained there for the rest of his life As a teacher he was probably one of the mentors to Archimedes Euclids fame comes from his writings especially his masterpiece Elements This 13-volume work is a compilation of Greek mathematics and geometry It is unknown how much if any of the work included in Elements is Euclids original work many of the theorems found can be traced to previous thinkers including Euxodus Thales Hippocrates and Pythagoras However the format of Elements belongs to him alone Each volume lists a number of definitions and postulates followed by theorems which are followed by proofs using those definitions and postulates Every statement was proven no matter how obvious Euclid chose his postulates carefully picking only the most basic and self-evident propositions as the basis of his work Before rival schools each had a different set of postulates some of which were very questionable This format helped standardize Greek mathematics As for the subject matter it ran the gamut of ancient thought The subjects include the transitive property the Pythagorean theorem algebraic identities circles tangents plane geometry the theory of proportions prime numbers perfect numbers properties of positive integers irrational numbers 3-D figures inscribed and circumscribed figures LCD GCM and the construction of regular
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