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Pierre de Fermat There once was a man who changed the world of mathematics He did not study math nor was it his career in fact he enjoyed math as merely a hobby to enjoy in his free time This man is a French man named Pierre de Fermat pronounced Fair-mah Fermat is a very interesting mathematician who paved the way to understanding calculus and geometry Fermat considered one of the greatest mathematicians in the seventeenth century was born in Beaumont-de-Lomagne France on August 17 1601 His father was a wealthy leather merchant who was also the second consul of Beaumont-de-Lomagne and his mothers family was in the legal professions Fermat was not an only child for he also had a brother and two sisters He was very courteous and kind which had proven helpful in a dispute with Descartes which concluded with a friendly smile Fermat grew up in his place of birth and is believed to have gone to school at a local Franciscan Monastery and is also believed have been home schooled as well He later attended the University of Toulouse and then later moved to Bordeaux and it was here where he began his interest in mathematics After that he went to the University of Orleans where he received his Bachelors Degree in law ending his school years He had a love for mathematics but did not let his love completely take his time away from his practice He had many offices in the Toulouse government He moved from the lower chambers to the higher chambers and was eventually head of the criminal court or the highest position in the Toulouse criminal court When he retired he devoted most of his time to his hobby mathematics Fermat made many contributions to not only the world of mathematics but to optics as well for he provided a law for light travel He proved mathematically that the law for the refraction of
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