Hundred Greatest Mathematicians of the Past

Isaac Newton


Carl Gauss

Leonhard Euler

Bernhard Riemann

Henri Poincaré

J.-L. Lagrange


David Hilbert

G.W. Leibniz

Alex. Grothendieck

Pierre de Fermat


The Greatest Mathematicians of the Past
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. Euclid of Alexandria
  4. David Hilbert
  5. Gottfried W. Leibniz
  1. Alexandre Grothendieck
  2. Pierre de Fermat
  3. Évariste Galois
  4. John von Neumann
  5. Srinivasa Ramanujan

  1. René Descartes
  2. Karl W. T. Weierstrass
  3. Hermann K. H. Weyl
  4. Peter G. L. Dirichlet
  5. Georg Cantor
  1. Brahmagupta
  2. Niels Abel
  3. Augustin Cauchy
  4. Emmy Noether
  5. Arthur Cayley
  1. Pythagoras of Samos
  2. William R. Hamilton
  3. Carl G. J. Jacobi
  4. Apollonius of Perga
  5. Leonardo `Fibonacci'

At some point a longer list will become a List of Great Mathematicians rather than a List of Greatest Mathematicians. I've expanded my original List of Thirty 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. Pierre-Simon Laplace
  3. Carl Ludwig Siegel
  4. Johannes Kepler
  5. Diophantus of Alexandria
  1. Aryabhata
  2. Muhammed al-Khowârizmi
  3. Richard Dedekind
  4. Felix Christian Klein
  5. Kurt Gödel
  1. Bháscara (II) Áchárya
  2. Blaise Pascal
  3. Élie Cartan
  4. Archytas of Tarentum
  5. Godfrey H. Hardy

  1. Alhazen ibn al-Haytham
  2. Jean le Rond d'Alembert
  3. Andrey N. Kolmogorov
  4. Hipparchus of Nicaea
  5. F.E.J. Émile Borel
  1. Julius Plücker
  2. Joseph Liouville
  3. Jacob Bernoulli
  4. F. Gotthold Eisenstein
  5. Giuseppe Peano
  1. Stefan Banach
  2. Panini of Shalatula
  3. André Weil
  4. Jean-Pierre Serre
  5. Jacques Hadamard

  1. Marius Sophus Lie
  2. Jakob Steiner
  3. F. L. Gottlob Frege
  4. Eudoxus of Cnidus
  5. M. E. Camille Jordan
  1. François Viète
  2. Joseph Fourier
  3. Christiaan Huygens
  4. Bonaventura Cavalieri
  5. Hermann G. Grassmann
  1. Albert Einstein
  2. James C. Maxwell
  3. Girolamo Cardano
  4. Aristotle
  5. Galileo Galilei

Einstein, Maxwell, Cardano, Aristotle and Galileo are among the greatest applied mathematicians in history, but lack the importance as pure mathematicians to qualify for The Top 70. Nevertheless I'd want to include them in any longer list, so I've tucked these ambiguous cases into the #71-#75 slots.

  1. Michael F. Atiyah
  2. Atle Selberg
  3. Alfred Tarski
  4. Gaspard Monge
  5. L.E.J. Brouwer
  1. Liu Hui
  2. Alan M. Turing
  3. Johann H. Lambert
  4. Israel M. Gelfand
  5. John E. Littlewood
  1. Jean-Victor Poncelet
  2. Ernst E. Kummer
  3. Felix Hausdorff
  4. Henri Léon Lebesgue
  5. George Pólya

  1. John F. Nash, Jr.
  2. Johann Bernoulli
  3. George D. Birkhoff
  4. Shiing-Shen Chern
  5. Adrien M. Legendre
  1. James J. Sylvester
  2. John Wallis
  3. Pafnuti Chebyshev
  4. Omar al-Khayyám
  5. Thales of Miletus

This is primarily a list of Greatest Mathematicians of the Past, but I use 1930 birth as an arbitrary cutoff, and one of the "Top 100" (Jean-Pierre Serre) is still alive as of 2022. Click here for a longer List of 200 including many more 20th-century mathematicians.)

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!

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

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

Go to a discussion of this list.
Go back to my home page.
Send me some e-mail.
This page is copyrighted (©) by James Dow Allen, 1998-2022.