
 Fermat, Pierre de 
  Pierre de Fermat was one of the most brilliant and productive mathematicians of his time, making many contributions to the differential and integral calculus, number theory, optics, and analytic geometry, as well as initiating the development of probability theory in correspondence with Pascal. 
  Pierre de Fermat was born on August 17, 1601 in BeaumontdeLomagne, France, and died on January 12, 1665 in Castres. 
  Fermat described his method of infinite descent, also known as "reverse induction" (Mahoney, page 231), and gave an example on how it could be used to prove that ever y prime of the form 4k+1 could be written as the sum of two squares. 
 www.math.rutgers.edu /courses/436/436s00/Papers2000/pellegrino.html (3192 words) 
