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Gerolamo Cardano
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Mathematician
    (September 24, 1501-September 21, 1576)
    Born in Pavia, Italy
    Physician, teacher, scientist, engineer, and mathematician
    Designed Cardan’s Movement, a pair of gears used to convert rotational movement to linear
    Introduced the Cardan Grille, a grid used for writing secret messages
    Considered one of the founders of probability theory
    One of the first mathematicians in Europe to use negative numbers, imaginary numbers, and binomial coefficients
    Namesake for Cardano circles
    He was denied admission to the College of Physicians in Milan, partly because of his birth out of wedlock, partly because of his combative personality.
    He gained his understanding of probability through his constant gambling.
    He disinherited one of his sons for stealing from him to support his own gambling habit.
    He left Milan for Bologna partly over allegations that he had been sexually involved with his students.
    He was imprisoned for a couple of months by the Inquisition (1570).
    His ‘Book on Games of Chance’ was not published until nearly a century after his death.
    His mother attempted to abort him.
    After he acquired his medical license, he became one of the most frequently consulted doctors in Milan.
    He gained such a reputation that he turned down offers to become the personal physician of the Kings of France and Denmark and the Queen of Scotland.
    He was one of the first to argue that fossil shells found on mountain tops indicated that land from the sea floor had been lifted up into mountains.
    He was one of the first advocates of education for the deaf.

Credit: C. Fishel


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