David Terr's Website



“Fibonacci Expansions and ‘F-adic’ integers,” The Fibonacci Quarterly, v. 34, 1996

“On the Sums of Digits of Fibonacci Numbers,” The Fibonacci Quarterly, v. 35, 1996..

A Modification of Shanks’ Baby-Step Giant-Step Algorithm,” Mathematics of Computation, v. 69, 2000

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The Five Most Influential Scientists of All Time

Below is a list of whom I consider to be the five most influential scientists of all time. I describe each of them and why I think they deserve to be on the list.

1. Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
No one can doubt the tremendous impact Sir Isaac Newton has had on the world. He made several monumental discoveries, any one of which would make him a world-renowned scientist. Among his discoveries were the spectrum of white light (as diffracted through a prism), the three laws of classical mechanics, the law of universal gravitation, and the invention of calculus (or fluxions as he called it). Since their first appearance in the "Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica" in 1687, Newtonian mechanics (his three laws as well as universal gravitation) remained unchallenged for over 200 years.

2. Charles Darwin (1809-1882)
Charles Darwin revolutionized biology with his theory of evolution by natural selection as outlined in his 1859 book, "The Origin of Species". Still highly debated by religious groups, his theory radically changed our perception of how life began. His theory was based on data he collected on his five-year voyage aboard The Beagle, in which he surveyed various life forms along the coast of South America.

3. Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Albert Einstein revolutionized physics with his theory of relativity. The theory consists of two parts. The special theory of relativity, published in 1905, states the relationship between space and time as well as between matter and energy. Both pairs of these quantities are intertwined in ways that nobody imagined before. The relationship E=mc^2 between matter and energy is perhaps the most famous formula in science. His general theory of relativity from 1915 is the modern theory of gravity. According to this theory, gravity should not be regarded as a force but rather as an effect of the curvature of space and time (more commonly known as spacetime) due to the presence of matter and energy.

4. Louis Pasteur (1822-1895)
Louis Pasteur made tremendous contributions to medicine with his work on germ theory, immunology, and vaccination. He developed vaccines for anthrax, cholera, rabies, and other diseases. He also devised the technique, which became known as pasteurization, of heating various foods to kill harmful organisms. He also studied the chirality of crystals and how they affect polarized light. All told, his discoveries revolutionized medicine and helped people live longer and healthier lives.

5. Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
Galileo Galilei was one of the fathers of the Scientific Revolution, which swept Europe in the 17th century and revolutionized science. He built an improved telescope in 1609, following which he made discoveries which turned astronomy on its head. First he discovered four large moons of Jupiter, which became known as the Galilean satellites. Later he discovered that like the moon, Venus underwent phases, showing that it revolved around the sun, not the earth, thus discrediting Ptolmey's geocentric model in favor of Copernicus' heliocentric model. Unfortunately the Catholic church was unhappy with his discoveries so they placed him under house arrest in 1633 and made him recant his findings. Nevertheless, his theory ultimately prevailed. Galileo also made valuable contributions to mechanics, which anticipated much of Newtonian mechanics.