Simon Stevin Mathematician

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Simon Stevin was an influential mathematician and engineer with a broad range of interests. He offered new insights and discoveries in the development of decimal numbers and the laws of inclines, gravity, hydrostatics, and fortification. Although Stevin never earned the same lasting reputation as Galileo or Isaac Newton, his contributions to the advancement of mathematical theory are noteworthy. Stevin began publishing his writings on mathematics while still a student. In 1582 he employed a printing shop in Antwerp to produce Tables of Interest, which outlined the rules for computing interest and provided tables for understanding discounts and annuities. Until that time, the calculation of interest was a mathematical process known only to the banking industry, which guarded the formula closely to protect its financial interests. After the release of Tables of Interest; for the first time common people could calculate the interest costs and benefits of their investments. In 1583, Stevin published Geometrical Problems. From the start, Stevin proved himself an innovator by publishing his books in Flemish. Over the next three years Stevin produced several of his most important mathematical works, including Dialectics, The Dime, The Decimal, and Arithmetic. The Dime and The Decimal proved important in the advancement of the accepted use of a decimal system. The decimal system had been known for centuries, but Stevin's explanation provided an understandable and usable, albeit cumbersome, system of decimals. The common accepted practice among mathematicians at the time was to use fraction form with written notations. Although he fell short of devising a complete decimal system with a positional decimal point, Stevin provided the foundation on which other mathematicians would soon follow with these
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