Before scientists can invent medicines or engineers can progress technology, they must first chuck numbers onto whiteboards, employing notions laid out by mathematicians hundreds of years or more ago. Even though generations of schoolchildren have disagreed, no other branch of study has had a more significant impact on the path of human history than mathematics.

Unfortunately, mathematicians are often overlooked for their contributions to history, but we are working to change that right now. We’ve curated the 20 mathematicians credited with bringing about the contemporary world.

### Charles Babbage

Charles Babbage was a mathematician and inventor and he is considered by some to be “father of the computer.”

### Carl Freidrich Gauss

Carl Friedrich Gauss was a mathematician who made significant contributions in mathematics and science.

### Euclid

Euclid was a Greek mathematician, often referred to as the “founder of geometry” or the “father of geometry.”

### Gottfried Leibniz

Gottfried Leibniz was a prominent figure in both the history of philosophy and the history of mathematics.