Blaise Pascal: Philosopher Mathematician
Lived approx. 1623 to 1662, France
"I cannot judge my work while I am doing it. I have to do as painters do, stand back and view it from a distance, but not too great a distance. How great? Guess." Quoted in W H Auden and L Kronenberger, The Viking Book of Aphorisms
"It is the heart which perceives God and not the reason." Pensées (1670)
1640 Pascal publishes Essay pour les coniques (Essay on Conic Sections).
1642 Pascal builds a calculating machine to help his father with tax calculations. It performs only additions.
1653 Pascal publishes Treatise on the Arithmetical Triangle on "Pascal's triangle". It had been studied by many earlier mathematicians.
1654 Pascal publishes his Treatise on the Equilibrium of Liquids on hydrostatics. He recognizes that force is transmitted equally in all directions through a fluid, and gives Pascal's law of pressure.
Rouse Ball Bio
Galileo project bio
Activities for Pascal's Triangle and Probability
Pascal's Triangle Activities (w/prints) http://mathforum.org/workshops/usi/pascal/
The Triangle and Fibonacci Sequences
More Pascal's Triangle (w/prints)
Many Pascal Triangle Activities Linked
Upper Level Activities for Pascal
Additional print teaching resources
Pascal's Philosophical / Religious Writings
Pascal's Wager http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pascal-wager/
Biographical print resources