Viète , François
(1540–1603) French mathematician
Viète, who was born at Fontenay-le-Comte in France, is also known by the Latinized form of his name, Franciscus Vieta. He was educated at Poitiers where he studied law and for a time he practiced as a lawyer. He was a member of the parlement of Brittany but because of his Huguenot sympathies he was forced to flee during the persecution of the Huguenots. On Henry IV's accession, however, he was able to hold further offices and became a privy councillor to the king. He put his mathematical abilities to practical use in deciphering the code used by Spanish diplomats.
Viète's chief work was in algebra. He made a number of innovations in the use of symbolism and several technical terms still in use (e.g., coefficient) were introduced by him. His work is important because of his tendency to solve problems by algebraic rather than geometric methods. By bringing algebraic techniques to bear on them Viète was able to solve a number of geometrical problems. A particularly longstanding problem – formulated by the Greek geometer Apollonius of Perga – namely, how to construct a circle that touches three given circles, was solved in this way by Viète.
Viète's major work is contained in his treatise In artem analyticem isagoge (1591; Introduction to the Analytical Arts) and among other advances in algebra that it contains are new and improved methods for solving cubic equations. Among these are techniques that make use of trigonometric methods. Viète also developed methods of approximating the solutions to equations.

Scientists. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Viète, François — (1540 1603)    mathematician    Born in Fontenay le Comte, François Viète was a magistrate for whom mathematics was originally just a pastime. Although regarded by his contemporaries as more of a decipherer than a mathematician, he influenced… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Viète, François — (1540 1603)    French mathematician, important for the development of trigonometric tables and algebraic notation. The son of a lawyer and notary at Fontenay le Comte in Poitou, he was educated in law at Poitiers, receiving a baccalaureate in… …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • Viète, François — lat. Franciscus Vieta; François de Viette …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Viète, François — ► (1540 1603) Matemático francés. Fue el primero que se sirvió de letras para representar las cantidades y aplicó el cálculo algebraico a la geometría …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Viète, François, Seigneur De La Bigotiere — ▪ French mathematician Latin  Franciscus Vieta   born 1540, Fontenay le Comte, France died Dec. 13, 1603, Paris       mathematician who introduced the first systematic algebraic notation and contributed to the theory of equations.       Viète, a… …   Universalium

  • Viète — Viète, François …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • François de Viette — Viète, François …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Francois Viete — François Viète François Viète, ou François Viette, en latin Franciscus Vieta, est un mathématicien français, né à Fontenay le Comte (Vendée) en 1540 et mort à Paris le 23 février 1603. De famille bourgeoise et de formation juridique, il …   Wikipédia en Français

  • François Viète — d après Daniel ou Jean Rabel Naissance 1540 Fontenay le Comte (France) Décès 23 février 1603 Paris …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Viète — François Viète François Viète d après Daniel ou Jean Rabel Naissance 1540 Fontenay le Comte (France) …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”