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Blaise Pascal was born in Clermont France on June 19 1623 to Etienne Pascal His mother died when he was only 3 He was the third of four children and the only boy He was described as a man of small stature poor health loud spoken somewhat overbearing precious stubbornly persevering a perfectionist highly pugnacious yet seeking to be humble and meekPascals father had somewhat unorthodox views on education so he decided to teach his son himself He forbade any mathematic teachings or material to be given to him and had any such texts removed from their house Blaise became engulfed with curiosity due to this rule He started to work with geometry on his own at the age of 12 He discovered that the sum of the three angles of a triangle is equivalent to two right angles When his father discovered this he then allowed Blaise a copy of Euclid At the age of 14 Blaise began accompanying his father to Mersennes meetings Mersenne was a member of a religious order of Minims His cell held many meetings for the likes of Gassendi Roberval Carcavi Auzout Mydorge Mylon Desargues and others By the time he was 15 Blaise admired the work of Desargues greatly At 16 Pascal presented a single piece of paper at a Mersennes meeting in June 1639 It held many of his geometry theorems including his mystic hexagon In December 1639 he and his family left Paris and moved to Rouen where his father Etienne was appointed tax collector for Upper Normandy Soon after settling down in Rouen his Essay on Conic Sections was published in February of 1640 It was his first great work Pascal also invented the first digital calculator to aid his father in his tax collecting duties For three years he worked 1642 - 1545 Dubbed the Pascaline it resembled a mechanical calculator of the 1940s This almost assuredly makes Pascal second only to Shickard who
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