euler

We should add a final word. Leonhard Euler was a mathematician of the very first rank, yet he is almost universally unknown among the general public, most of whom presumably cannot even correctly pronounce his name. The same people who have never heard of Euler would have no trouble identifying Pierre-Auguste Renoir as an artist or Johannes Brahms as a musician of Sir Walter Scott as an author. Euler’s contrasting anonymity is both an injustice and a shame.

But what makes it all the worse is that Euler’s counterpart among painters is not Renoir but Rembrandt; his counterpart among musicians is not Brahms but Bach; and his counterpart among writers is certainly not Walter Scott but William Shakespeare. That a mathematician with such peers – the Shakespeare of mathematics – commands so little public recognition is a sad, sad commentary.

William Dunham (1997) – The Mathematical Universe: An Alphabetical Journey Through the Great Proofs, Problems, and Personalities