Thinkers on mathematics
These thinkers will provide you with brilliant insights into the world, and help you to consolidate your understanding of mathematics.
You can draw on their ideas to help develop and justify your TOK essay arguments, and add depth and authority to the assertions you make about knowledge. To explore them in more detail, consult our Knowledge Heroes resource.
Rene Descartes (1596 – 1650)
Descartes was a French physicist and mathematician, and has been dubbed the father of modern philosophy. He is one of our knowledge heroes, appearing in the BQ lessons to help us explore how we learn about the world via rational means.
Marcus Du Sautoy (b. 1965)
Du Sautoy is the Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford. He is known for popularizing science and mathematics, and applying the principles found within both fields to understand our everyday lives.
Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)
Probably the best known scientist of the last 300 years, Einstein’s name has become synonymous with genius and creativity. He is one of our knowledge heroes, appearing in the BQ lessons to help us explore the role of imagination in producing new scientific knowledge.
O’Neil is an American mathematician, data scientist, and writer. She is the founder of the blog mathbabe.org and has written books on data science, including Weapons of Math Destruction. She is one of our knowledge heroes, appearing in the BQ lessons to help us explore the level of objectivity of mathematical knowledge.
Hans Rosling (1948 – 2017)
Rosling was a Swedish physician, statistician, and speaker. He specialized in international health at the Karolinska Institute, and co-founded the Gapminder Foundation. He is one of our knowledge heroes, appearing in the BQ lessons to help us explore how statistical data is needed to develop an objective view of the world.
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Many of the key thinkers make regular appearances in our TOK newsletter. This helps you to make sense of the most important events going on today, and grasp how TOK concepts manifest in the real world. Read a recent edition here, subscribe to the free version here, and gain access to the premium version by joining theoryofknowledge.net.