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Blaise Pascal By Victoria Hubble Blaise Pascal was born in Clermont-Ferrand France on June 19th 1623 Hismother Antoinette Begon died when he was three and his father Etienne who was alocal judge with a scientific reputation brought him up Etienne Pascal retired andmoved to Paris in 1631 to concentrate on his own scientific research and to take care ofhis son Blaise and his two daughters Gilberte and Jaqueline Etienne had unorthodoxviews of education and decided to tutor his only son himself Etienne Pascal locked up allthe mathematics texts in the house because he believed that it was too exciting for youngminds to be studying mathematics before the age of 15 and he was not going to sap hisgifted childs energy from all other pursuits At age 12 Blaise was curious aboutgeometry and deduced as far as Proposition 32 of Euclids Elements the sum of anglesof a triangle are two right angles by himself without any mathematics training When hisfather found out Blaise was allowed to read his fathers mathematics books because hisfather knew that he couldnt stop his genius son anymore The young Pascal began to participate with his father in Mersennes Circle aweekly discussion group of scientists and mathematicians In this plantation of intellectshe learned from Girard Desargues who had just published a projective geometry bookbut was not well received because of the difficult vocabulary and style Pascal was one ofthe few to appreciate his work When he was 16 he presented a projective geometrypaper at the meeting about what is now called the mystic hexagon which impressedeveryone One of his sisters wrote an account of her brothers life saying the paper was sowell received that young Pascal was considered to be the best mathematician since thetime of Archimedes In the next year Blaise had
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