Rene' Descartes was born in La Haye, Touraine (a former province of France) March 31, 1596. He spent all of his childhood in France. His father was a minor nobleman and councillor of the Parliament of Brittany, his title was noblesse de la robe. Descartes mother was not as prominate as her husband but she was quite wealthy. The nationality of both his parents is French. His religion was Roman Catholic.

In 1606 at the age of eight Descartes enrolled in the Jesuit college of La F leche in Anjou, to study mathematics and Scholastic philosophy, which was used to understand Christian doctrine. Upon leaving school Descartes studied law at Poitiers University until graduation in 1616 but he never attempted to practice law outside school. He spent years wandering through Europe until he finally settled in the Netherlands in 1618 where he joined the services of Prince Maurice who was the leader of the UP of the Netherlands. He make a trek to Italy in 1623 until 1624 and then he went to France and stayed four years until 1628. When Descartes was in France focused his studies on philosophy and the development of optics.

Then after selling all his property in France he moved to the Netherlands and to such cities as Amsterdam and Leiden. Rene' Descartes never had paying jobs he mainly did volunteer work and received nothing in return for his work. For means to live on Descartes received property from his mother which he turned around and sold for 27, 000 liveries. Some time after that he inherited property for his father which he kept. Descartes developed of an optical machine that would grind non-spherical lenses for spectacles etc. Descartes philosophy was sometimes called Cartesianism it carried him into false reasons of a number of physica phenomena.

While Descartes was studying optics it led him to the discovery of the basic law of reflection. Descartes was often called the father of modern philosophy. He tried to justify philosophy by using science and mathematics. Before Descartes people used scholasticism, which was based on comparing the views of recognized authorities. He rejected the method I quote: In our search for the direct road to truth, we should busy ourselves with no object about which we cannot attain a certitude equal to that of the demonstrations of arithmetic and geometry. Which made him determine to hold nothing true until he had established grounds for it being true.

While Descartes was in the Netherlands he published his first work Philosophical Essays. The work focused on four subjects geometry, optics, meteors, and Discourse on Method which is philosophy speculations. while Descartes was in the Netherlands he formed a friendship with the princess Elizabeth Stuart of Bohemia. Sometime during the winter of 1649 Descartes was instructed to go to Stockholm Sweden to give Queen Christina tutoring in philosophy. Then in 1650 while still Stockholm the severity of the winter caused him to get pneumonia and die. analytic geometry was introduced by Rene Descartes in 1637.

Analytic geometry is most commonly applied to the representation of Equations involving two of three variables as curves in two or three dimensions or surfaces in three dimensions, which allows problems in algebra to be answered in geometry and problems in geometry to be solved by algebra. The techniques of analytic geometry have been generalized to four or more dimensions and have been combined with other forms of geometry. Rene Descartes was the first mathematician to use the last letters of the alphabet to assign unknown qualities and the first letters to designate known ones. He also invented the method of indices (x) to express the powers of numbers. He also expressed the Descartes rule of sign for finding the number of positive and negative roots for any algebraic equation.

Descartes was a great man and he did many things in his life including philosophy, science, mathematics. All of these subjects are important say for instance math he made may contributions to mathematics but some of them were minor and some were major but no matter what they all impacted mathematics in some way most mathematics today would not be complete if someone didn t make contributions. Many things wouldn t be possible if not for him many of the activities we do today are related to Descartes not only in the mathematical sense but in the philosophy, and science sense. So in conclusion my personal opinion of Descartes and how important is he to mathematics and the world, he is a very large part of it and very important to it. 324.