The end of the eighteenth century in France was not only a volatile time politically, it was a golden age for mathematics, both pure and applied. I will highlight the contributions of the four leaders of this period: Joseph-Louis Lagrange, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Adrien-Marie Legendre, and Siméon-Denis Poisson. Metzler discusses how they transformed many fields of mathematics, from number theory and algebra, to calculus and mathematical physics, with insights we still use today.

David Metzler specializes in stimulating lectures on math topics. He holds a BA in mathematics from Rice University and a PhD in mathematics from MIT. He has taught at Rice University and the University of Florida and currently teaches at Albuquerque Academy.