Search engine giant Google on Monday paid tribute to mathematician and physicist Leonhard Euler on his 306th birthday with an animated doodle on its home page.
Euler was born on 15 April, 1707 in Basel, Switzerland and moved to Russia in 1727. He is known for his contributions to the field of geometry, infinitesimal calculus, trigonometry and number theory. He also Euler also contributed to mechanics, fluid dynamics, optics, and astronomy.
He is the only mathematician to have two numbers named after him, namely Euler's Number in calculus and the Euler-Mascheroni Constant which is also known as "Euler's constant".
Earlier in his life, Euler's father had urged him to become a pastor. But his tutor Johann Bernoulli, Europe's leading mathematician, persuaded his father that Euler has the potential to become a great mathematician.
French mathematician and astronomer Pierre-Simon Laplace once said, "Read Euler, read Euler, he is the master of us all," pointing to Euler's influence on mathematics.
In 1766, Euler almost lost his vision completely due to cataract formation in his left eye. Despite his handicap, his mental calculation skills and photographic memory helped him produce one mathematical paper every week on an average in the year 1775.
Euler died on 18 September, 1783 in St Petersburg, Russia, from brain haemorrhage.