Lagrange: 1736 – 1813

Laplace: 1749 – 1827

Legendre: 1752 – 1833

— a convenient mnemonic I discovered is that both birth and death order follow the alphabetical order.

I don’t know about comparing Legendre to Lagrange or Laplace, but he did a lot of good work besides elliptic integrals: the first published account of the least squares method, quadratic residues and (conjectured) the quadratic reciprocity law (thus the Legendre symbol (r|p) for whether r is a quadratic residue mod p), the conjectured prime number theorem, Legendre polynomials, and a book Éléments de géométrie that replaced Euclid as the leading geometry textbook for nearly a century.

]]>Anyway, thanks for the short and practical summary! ]]>

Well he did gain French citizenship, so he was French too.

]]>But this would ruin the nice acronym… oh, nevermind. ]]>

I don’t know; I wish I did!

]]>Oh, I read that part in the link. What i want to know is why the artist drew the *real* Legendre like some sadistic ghoul 🙂

There’s a discussion on Wikipedia, which is how I found out about it. Someone 200 years ago found a picture of the politician “Louis Legendre” and put it in a book, saying it was the mathematician. No one noticed until 2005, at which point, no other images of him remained…

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