The 
Greatest Mathematicians of All Time
 
 

Isaac Newton

Archimedes

Carl Gauss

Leonhard Euler

Bernhard Riemann

Henri Poincaré
 

J.-L. Lagrange

David Hilbert

Euclid

G.W. Leibniz

Alex. Grothendieck

Pierre de Fermat

 

The Greatest Mathematicians of All Time
ranked in approximate order of "greatness."
To qualify, the mathematician must be born before 1930 and his work must have
breadth, depth, and historical importance.
 

 
  1. Isaac Newton
  2. Archimedes
  3. Carl F. Gauss
  4. Leonhard Euler
  5. Bernhard Riemann
 
  1. Henri Poincaré
  2. Joseph-Louis Lagrange
  3. David Hilbert
  4. Euclid of Alexandria
  5. Gottfried W. Leibniz
 
  1. Alexandre Grothendieck
  2. Pierre de Fermat
  3. Niels Abel
  4. Évariste Galois
  5. John von Neumann

  1. Karl W. T. Weierstrass
  2. René Déscartes
  3. Brahmagupta
  4. Peter G. L. Dirichlet
  5. Augustin Cauchy
 
  1. Carl G. J. Jacobi
  2. Srinivasa Ramanujan
  3. Georg Cantor
  4. Hermann K. H. Weyl
  5. Arthur Cayley
 
  1. Emma Noether
  2. Pythagoras of Samos
  3. Leonardo `Fibonacci'
  4. William R. Hamilton
  5. Muhammed al-Khowârizmi

At some point a longer list will become a List of Great Mathematicians rather than a List of Greatest Mathematicians. I've expanded the List to an even Hundred, but you may prefer to reduce it to a Top Seventy, Top Sixty, Top Fifty, Top Forty or Top Thirty list, or even Top Twenty, Top Fifteen or Top Ten List.
 

  1. Charles Hermite
  2. Aryabhata
  3. Richard Dedekind
  4. Apollonius of Perga
  5. Pierre-Simon Laplace
 
  1. Kurt Gödel
  2. Diophantus of Alexandria
  3. Bháscara Áchárya
  4. Eudoxus of Cnidus
  5. Blaise Pascal
 
  1. Felix Christian Klein
  2. Jean le Rond d'Alembert
  3. Élie Cartan
  4. Hipparchus of Nicaea
  5. Godfrey H. Hardy

  1. Archytas of Tarentum
  2. Alhazen ibn al-Haytham
  3. Carl Ludwig Siegel
  4. Gaspard Monge
  5. Jacques Hadamard
 
  1. Andrey N. Kolmogorov
  2. Johannes Kepler
  3. Jacob Bernoulli
  4. Hermann G. Grassmann
  5. Joseph Liouville
 
  1. Julius Plücker
  2. F.E.J. Émile Borel
  3. François Viète
  4. Joseph Fourier
  5. Stefan Banach

  1. F. Gotthold Eisenstein
  2. Liu Hui
  3. André Weil
  4. Giuseppe Peano
  5. Jean-Victor Poncelet
 
  1. Jakob Steiner
  2. Christiaan Huygens
  3. M. E. Camille Jordan
  4. Panini of Shalatula
  5. L.E.J. Brouwer
 
  1. Michael F. Atiyah
  2. Pafnuti Chebyshev
  3. Bonaventura Cavalieri
  4. James J. Sylvester
  5. Jean-Pierre Serre

 
  1. Henri Léon Lebesgue
  2. John Wallis
  3. George Boole
  4. Alan M. Turing
  5. Siméon-Denis Poisson
 
  1. Atle Selberg
  2. Pappus of Alexandria
  3. John E. Littlewood
  4. Shiing-Shen Chern
  5. Johann Bernoulli

  1. Hermann Minkowski
  2. Ernst E. Kummer
  3. George Pólya
  4. Felix Hausdorff
  5. George D. Birkhoff
 
  1. F. L. Gottlob Frege
  2. Omar al-Khayyám
  3. Marius Sophus Lie
  4. Alfred Tarski
  5. Daniel Bernoulli
 
  1. Johann H. Lambert
  2. Hippocrates of Chios
  3. Israel M. Gelfand
  4. Adrien M. Legendre
  5. Thales of Miletus

I've appended five additional names to the List of Seventy-five Greatest Mathematicians. Maxwell, Einstein, etc. are among the greatest applied mathematicians in history, but lack the importance as pure mathematicians to qualify for The Top 75. Nevertheless I'd want to include them in any longer list. Because of their ambiguous status, I've left these five without rank numbers.

I think One Hundred is a good list size, but it's not a multiple of fifteen, and I don't want to change the way I've formatted the list. I've finally brought the List up to One Hundred Fifty; and that's the end of this project! For this extended list, I relax the birth-date rule slightly to include two greats born in the 1930's.
 

   

   

   

This webpage started as a Top Ten List, and it took a lot of reading by me to finally realize Leibniz and Grothendieck were the two I needed to add to get a Top Twelve. And on and on and on until the List has grown to 150 names! But the task seems increasingly overwhelming! I won't make the List any bigger than it already is, but I do solicit comments: Surely the 150 I've chosen are not the very very "greatest"! (Following are 50 more mathematicians if you prefer a List of 200. Click here for an even longer List of 250.)
 
Other Likely Contenders:       Ahmes   Al-Karaji   Al-Kindi   Aleksandrov   Apastambha   Babbage   Bhaskara.I   Bolyai   Bolzano   Boscovich   Brioschi   Courant   Dehn   Deligne   deMoivre   Dirac   Eratosthenes   Germain   L.Gersonides   Gibbs   Heron   Landau   L.daVinci   Leray   Madhava   Mandelbrot   Mittag-Leffler   Möbius   Nash   Oresme   Perelman   Plato   Pontryagin   Russell   Seki   Shannon   Shelah   Smale   Sturm   Tao   Tartaglia   Tate   Theaetetus   J.G.Thompson   Torricelli   Witten   Wittgenstein   Zariski   Zeno   Zhu  
 

This is primarily a list of Greatest Mathematicians of the Past, but I use 1930 birth as an arbitrary cutoff, and three of the "Top 100" are still alive as I write.

Click for a discussion of certain omissions. Please send me e-mail if you believe there's a major flaw in my rankings (or an error in any of the biographies). Obviously the relative ranks of, say Fibonacci and Ramanujan, will never satisfy everyone since the reasons for their "greatness" are different. I'm sure I've overlooked great mathematicians who obviously belong on this list. Please e-mail and tell me! (Sorry if mathematician "100." displays as "00." Either my html is flawed, or Microsoft I-E doesn't like lists longer than 99.)

(By the way, the ranking assigned to a mathematician will appear if you place the cursor atop the name at the top of his mini-bio.)

Biographies of the greatest mathematicians are in separate files by birth year:

(Or you can View the List and Bios as a single page.)



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