Abraham de Moivre

(1667—1754) mathematician

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(1667–1754; b. Vitry, France; d. London, England)

French mathematical prodigy. De Moivre studied at U Sedan when aged eleven, and later at U Saumur and the Sorbonne. In 1688 he emigrated to London to avoid persecution (he was a Protestant). In London he initially made a living by giving advice to gamblers and stock-exchange workers in the coffee-houses. In 1697 he was elected FRS. In his 1711 paper de Mensura Sortis he derived both the distribution now called the Poisson distribution and the hypergeometric distribution. He is also famed for his work on probability, encapsulated in his book The Doctrine of Chances, and he is credited with the first derivation of the probability density function of the normal distribution.

Subjects: Probability and Statistics.

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