Notable Mathematicians
There are many sources on the lives and works of mathematicians. A
good place to start is the classic Men of Mathematics by Eric
Temple Bell. The book is written at a level accessible to
undergraduate math majors, and the writing is lively. (Though Bell
sometimes overdoes it; anyone who reads his chapter on Galois should
also read the article "Genius and biographers: the fictionalization
of Évariste Galois" by Tony Rothman in the American Mathematical
Monthly, vol. 89 (1982), pp. 84106.) The coverage of Bell's book
ends at the dawn of the twentieth century. A comprehensive online source
is the
MacTutor History of
Mathematics Archive, which has thousands of (mostly short) biographies
of mathematicians from ancient times to the present day.
Selection of the handful of mathematicians profiled in these pages
was entirely idiosyncratic; they caught my interest for one reason or
another. Several of them are my mathematical
ancestors.

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