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Pierre Raymond de Montmort, a French mathematician, was born in Paris on 27 October 1678, and died there on 7 October 1719. His name was originally just Pierre Rémond or Raymond. His father pressured him to study law, but he rebelled and travelled to England and Germany, returning to France in 1699 when, upon receiving a large inheritance from his father, he bought an estate and took the name de Montmort. He was friendly with several other notable mathematicians, and especially Nicholas Bernoulli, who collaborated with him while visiting his estate. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1715, while traveling again to England, and became a member of the French Academy of Sciences in 1716.

De Montmort is known for his book on probability and games of chance, which was also the first to introduce the combinatorial study of derangements. He is also known for naming Pascal's triangle after Blaise Pascal, calling it "Table de M. Pascal pour les combinaisons."

Another of de Montmort's interests was the subject of finite differences. He determined in 1713 the sum of n terms of a finite series of the form

na + (n(n-1) / 2!) Δ a + (n(n-1)(n-2))/3! ) Δ2 a + ...

where Δ is the forward difference operator, a theorem which seems to have been independently rediscovered by Goldbach in 1718.

Selected publications

* de Montmort, P. R. (1708). Essay d'analyse sur les jeux de hazard. Paris: Jacque Quillau. Seconde Edition, Revue & augmentée de plusieurs Lettres. Paris: Jacque Quillau. 1713.


* Rouse Ball, W. W. (1908). A short account of the history of Mathematics, 4th edition. MacMillan and Co., Ltd. http://www.maths.tcd.ie/pub/HistMath/People/18thCentury/RouseBall/RB_Cont18C.html.

External links

* "Pierre Rémond de Montmort". The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive. http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Montmort.html.

* Westfall, Richard S. "Montmort, Pierre Remond de". The Galileo Project. http://galileo.rice.edu/Catalog/NewFiles/montmort.html.

* Miller, Jeff. "Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics". http://jeff560.tripod.com/mathword.html.

* Lee, Peter M.. "Life and Work of Statisticians". http://www.york.ac.uk/depts/maths/histstat/lifework.htm#m.

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