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Benjamin Peirce

** Benjamin Peirce **

( * purse * , (April 4, 1809 – October 6, 1880) was an [American] [mathematician] who taught at [Harvard University] for about fifty years. He made contributions to [celestial mechanics] , [statistics] , [number theory] , [algebra] , and the [philosophy of mathematics] .

After graduating from Harvard, he remained as a [tutor] (1829), and was subsequently appointed [professor] of mathematics in 1831. He added [astronomy] to his portfolio in 1842, and remained as Harvard professor until his death. In addition, he was instrumental in the development of Harvard's science [curriculum] , served as the college [librarian] , and was director of the [U.S. Coast Survey] from 1867 to 1874.

** Research **

Benjamin Peirce is often regarded as the earliest scientist of the United States, whose research was recognized as world class.

** Mathematics **

In number theory, he proved there is no odd [perfect number] with fewer than four [prime] factors.

In algebra, he was notable for the study of [associative algebra] s. He first introduced the terms [idempotent] and [nilpotent] in 1870 to describe elements of these algebras, and he also introduced the [Peirce decomposition] .

** Definition of mathematics **

In the philosophy of mathematics, he became known for the statement that "Mathematics is the science that draws necessary conclusions",. Benjamin Peirce's definition of mathematics was credited by [Charles Sanders Peirce] as helping to initiate the consequentialist philosophy of [pragmatism] .

Like [George Boole] , Benjamin Peirce believe that mathematics could be used to study [logic] . These ideas were developed by [Charles Sanders Peirce] , who noted that logic also includes the study of faulty reasoning.

In contrast, the later logicist program of [Gottlob Frege] and [Bertrand Russell] attempted to base mathematics on logic.

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