Stumbling Toward Enlightenment

Gatherings from the Internet

12/09/2015
by barenose
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Remember the Ladies: Maria Gaetana Agnesi

The Instituzioni analitiche…, among other things, discussed a curve earlier studied and constructed by Pierre de Fermat and Guido Grandi. Grandi called the curve versoria in Latin and suggested the term versiera for Italian, possibly as a pun: ‘versoria’ is a nautical term, “sheet”, while versiera/aversiera is “she-devil”, “witch”, from Latin Adversarius, an alias for “devil” (Adversary of God). For whatever reasons, after translations and publications of the Instituzioni analitiche… the curve has become known as the “Witch of Agnesi”. Continue reading

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