Pythagoras: a2 + b2 = c2

Ever wondered why it is call the Pythagorean Theorem? Well, it is named after Pythagoras, the man credited with the discovery of the formula thousands of years ago.


Date of Birth: 580 - 572 BC Date of Death: 500 - 490 BC
Birthplace: Samos, Greece  

He is said to have been born in the Greek island of Samos. That information, along with everything else about him unfortunately cannot be verified. There is no written documentation from the time that he lived.


He is considered by many to be the "father of numbers" because of his belief that everything, even the "gods and demons", could be explained through numbers. However, he was considered to be a much more influential philosophy. He even led a religious movement in which his followers were called Pythagoreans.


Famous Work: The Pythagorean Theorem


You might recognize the word Pythagorean from the Pythagorean Theorem. One of the most well known geometric formulas, a2 + b2 = c2, bears his name. The theorem relates the sides of a right triangle.

In this formula, the "c" value always represents the hypotenuse of the triangle, which is the longest side and always across from the right right angle.

For more detials, visit our pythagorean theorem page.

For an even more in depth explanation, check out our page on Geometer's Sketchpad: a dynamic geometry software program that allows students to learn more visually and wiht more interaction.

We explain how you can teach the theorem using the software. It is a great way to get your students more engaged and more involved in their learning. Visit our free math teaching tools page for other great suggestions!  

Return from Pythagoras to other Famous Math People.



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