Lodovico Ferrari

Last updated
Lodovico de Ferrari
Born2 February 1522 (1522-02-02)
Died5 October 1565(1565-10-05) (aged 43)
Nationality Italian
Known for quartic equations
Scientific career
Fields mathematics
Influences Gerolamo Cardano

Lodovico de Ferrari (2 February 1522 5 October 1565) was an Italian mathematician.

Italians nation and ethnic group native to Italy

The Italians are a Romance ethnic group and nation native to the Italian peninsula and its neighbouring insular territories. Most Italians share a common culture, history, ancestry or language. Legally, all Italian nationals are citizens of the Italian Republic, regardless of ancestry or nation of residence and may be distinguished from people of Italian descent without Italian citizenship and from ethnic Italians living in territories adjacent to the Italian Peninsula without Italian citizenship. The majority of Italian nationals are speakers of Italian, or a regional variety thereof. However, many of them also speak another regional or minority language native to Italy; although there is disagreement on the total number, according to UNESCO there are approximately 30 languages native to Italy.

Mathematician person with an extensive knowledge of mathematics

A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics in his or her work, typically to solve mathematical problems.


Born in Bologna, Italy, Lodovico's grandfather, Bartolomeo de Ferrari, was forced out of Milan to Bologna. Lodovico settled in Bologna, Italy and he began his career as the servant of Gerolamo Cardano. He was extremely bright, so Cardano started teaching him mathematics. Ferrari aided Cardano on his solutions for quadratic equations and cubic equations, and was mainly responsible for the solution of quartic equations that Cardano published. While still in his teens, Ferrari was able to obtain a prestigious teaching post in Rome after Cardano resigned from it and recommended him. Ferrari retired when young at 42 years old, and wealthy. He then moved back to his home town of Bologna where he lived with his widowed sister Maddalena to take up a professorship of mathematics at the University of Bologna in 1565. Shortly thereafter, he died of white arsenic poisoning, according to a legend - because of his sisters. [1]

Gerolamo Cardano Italian Renaissance mathematician, physician, astrologer

GerolamoCardano was an Italian polymath, whose interests and proficiencies ranged from being a mathematician, physician, biologist, physicist, chemist, astrologer, astronomer, philosopher, writer, and gambler. He was one of the most influential mathematicians of the Renaissance, and was one of the key figures in the foundation of probability and the earliest introducer of the binomial coefficients and the binomial theorem in the western world. He wrote more than 200 works on science.

Arsenic Chemical element with atomic number 33

Arsenic is a chemical element with symbol As and atomic number 33. Arsenic occurs in many minerals, usually in combination with sulfur and metals, but also as a pure elemental crystal. Arsenic is a metalloid. It has various allotropes, but only the gray form, which has a metallic appearance, is important to industry.

Related Research Articles

History of mathematics aspect of history

The area of study known as the history of mathematics is primarily an investigation into the origin of discoveries in mathematics and, to a lesser extent, an investigation into the mathematical methods and notation of the past. Before the modern age and the worldwide spread of knowledge, written examples of new mathematical developments have come to light only in a few locales. From 3000 BC the Mesopotamian states of Sumer, Akkad and Assyria, together with Ancient Egypt and Ebla began using arithmetic, algebra and geometry for purposes of taxation, commerce, trade and also in the field of astronomy and to formulate calendars and record time.

Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia Italian mathematician

Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia was an Italian mathematician, engineer, a surveyor and a bookkeeper from the then-Republic of Venice. He published many books, including the first Italian translations of Archimedes and Euclid, and an acclaimed compilation of mathematics. Tartaglia was the first to apply mathematics to the investigation of the paths of cannonballs, known as ballistics, in his Nova Scientia ; his work was later partially validated and partially superseded by Galileo's studies on falling bodies. He also published a treatise on retrieving sunken ships.

In mathematics, Galois theory provides a connection between field theory and group theory. Using Galois theory, certain problems in field theory can be reduced to group theory, which is in some sense simpler and better understood.

Joseph-Louis Lagrange Italian mathematician and mathematical physicist

Joseph-Louis Lagrange was an Italian Enlightenment Era mathematician and astronomer. He made significant contributions to the fields of analysis, number theory, and both classical and celestial mechanics.

Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet German mathematician

Johann Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet was a German mathematician who made deep contributions to number theory, and to the theory of Fourier series and other topics in mathematical analysis; he is credited with being one of the first mathematicians to give the modern formal definition of a function.

Cubic function a polynomial function in a single variable where the highest exponent of the variable is 3

In algebra, a cubic function is a function of the form

Jacques Hadamard French mathematician

Jacques Salomon Hadamard ForMemRS was a French mathematician who made major contributions in number theory, complex function theory, differential geometry and partial differential equations.

In mathematics, an algebraic equation or polynomial equation is an equation of the form

Bhāskara (1114–1185), was an Indian mathematician and astronomer. He was born in Bijapur in Karnataka.

In algebra, the theory of equations is the study of algebraic equations, which are equations defined by a polynomial. The main problem of the theory of equations was to know when an algebraic equation has an algebraic solution. This problem was completely solved in 1830 by Évariste Galois, by introducing what is now called Galois theory.

Poncelet–Steiner theorem theorem

In Euclidean geometry, the Poncelet–Steiner theorem is one of several results concerning compass and straightedge constructions with additional restrictions. This result states that whatever can be constructed by straightedge and compass together can be constructed by straightedge alone, provided that a single circle and its centre are given.

Rafael Bombelli Italian mathematician

Rafael Bombelli was an Italian mathematician. Born in Bologna, he is the author of a treatise on algebra and is a central figure in the understanding of imaginary numbers.

Abū Kāmil, Shujāʿ ibn Aslam ibn Muḥammad Ibn Shujāʿ was an Egyptian mathematician during the Islamic Golden Age. He is considered the first mathematician to systematically use and accept irrational numbers as solutions and coefficients to equations. His mathematical techniques were later adopted by Fibonacci, thus allowing Abu Kamil an important part in introducing algebra to Europe.

Scipione del Ferro was an Italian mathematician who first discovered a method to solve the depressed cubic equation.

Guido Stampacchia Italian mathematician

Guido Stampacchia was a 20th-century Italian mathematician, known for his work on the theory of variational inequalities, the calculus of variation and the theory of elliptic partial differential equations.

<i>Ars Magna</i> (Gerolamo Cardano) book

The Ars Magna is an important Latin-language book on algebra written by Gerolamo Cardano. It was first published in 1545 under the title Artis Magnæ, Sive de Regulis Algebraicis Liber Unus. There was a second edition in Cardano's lifetime, published in 1570. It is considered one of the three greatest scientific treatises of the early Renaissance, together with Copernicus' De revolutionibus orbium coelestium and Vesalius' De humani corporis fabrica. The first editions of these three books were published within a two-year span (1543–1545).

Pierre de Fermat French mathematician and lawyer

Pierre de Fermat was a French lawyer at the Parlement of Toulouse, France, and a mathematician who is given credit for early developments that led to infinitesimal calculus, including his technique of adequality. In particular, he is recognized for his discovery of an original method of finding the greatest and the smallest ordinates of curved lines, which is analogous to that of differential calculus, then unknown, and his research into number theory. He made notable contributions to analytic geometry, probability, and optics. He is best known for his Fermat's principle for light propagation and his Fermat's Last Theorem in number theory, which he described in a note at the margin of a copy of Diophantus' Arithmetica.

Algebra is one of the broad parts of mathematics, together with number theory, geometry and analysis. In its most general form, algebra is the study of mathematical symbols and the rules for manipulating these symbols; it is a unifying thread of almost all of mathematics. It includes everything from elementary equation solving to the study of abstractions such as groups, rings, and fields. The more basic parts of algebra are called elementary algebra; the more abstract parts are called abstract algebra or modern algebra. Elementary algebra is generally considered to be essential for any study of mathematics, science, or engineering, as well as such applications as medicine and economics. Abstract algebra is a major area in advanced mathematics, studied primarily by professional mathematicians.

Dario Graffi was an influential Italian mathematical physicist, known for his researches on the electromagnetic field, particularly for a mathematical explanation of the Luxemburg effect, for proving an important uniqueness theorem for the solutions of a class of fluid dynamics equations including the Navier-Stokes equation, for his researches in continuum mechanics and for his contribution to oscillation theory.


  1. Alan Shuchat; Simon Gindikin. Tales of Mathematicians and Physicists . Springer; 2007. ISBN   978-0-387-48811-0. p. 18.

Further reading

Jayawardene, S. A. (1970–80). "Ferrari, Lodovico". Dictionary of Scientific Biography . 4. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. pp. 586–8. ISBN   978-0-684-10114-9.

The Dictionary of Scientific Biography is a scholarly reference work that was published from 1970 through 1980. It is supplemented by the New Dictionary of Scientific Biography. Both these publications are comprised in an electronic version, called the Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography.

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

Edmund Frederick Robertson is a Professor emeritus of pure mathematics at the University of St Andrews.

The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive is a website maintained by John J. O'Connor and Edmund F. Robertson and hosted by the University of St Andrews in Scotland. It contains detailed biographies on many historical and contemporary mathematicians, as well as information on famous curves and various topics in the history of mathematics.

University of St Andrews university in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland

The University of St Andrews is a British public university in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland. It is the oldest of the four ancient universities of Scotland and the third oldest university in the English-speaking world. St Andrews was founded between 1410 and 1413, when the Avignon Antipope Benedict XIII issued a papal bull to a small founding group of Augustinian clergy.