- Stevin , Simon
- (1548–1620) Flemish mathematician and engineerStevin was also known as Stevinus, the Latinized form of his name. Born in the city of Bruges, he worked for a time as a clerk in Antwerp, eventually working his way up to become quartermaster of the army under Prince Maurice of Nassau. While in this post he devised a system of sluices, which could flood the land as a defense should Holland be attacked.Stevin was a versatile man who contributed to several areas of science. Mathematics owes to him the introduction of the decimal system of notating fractions. This system was perfected when John Napier invented the decimal point. Stevin helped to popularize the practice of writing scientific works in modern languages (in his case Dutch) rather than Latin, which for so long had been the traditional European language of learning. However such was the hold of the old ways that Willebrord Snell thought it was worthwhile to translate some of Stevin's work into Latin. To hydrostatics he contributed the discovery that the shape of a vessel containing liquid is irrelevant to the pressure that liquid exerts. He also did some experimental work in statics and in the study of the Earth's magnetism.
Scientists. Academic. 2011.