Abraham De Moivre was born on May 26, 1667 in Vitry, France. I too was born on May 26, but in 1984. De Moivre was a major part in mathematics. He is most remembered for his formula (cos x + i sin x)n , which took trigonometry into analysis. De Moivre was a French Protestant. He emigrated to England in 1685, following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes and the expulsion of the Huguenots. He became a private tutor of mathematics and hoped for a chair of mathematics, but this was not to be since foreigners were at In 1697 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society.

In 1710 De Moivre as appointed to the Commission set up by the Royal Society to review the rival claims of Newton and Leibniz to be the discovers of the calculus. His appointment to this Commission was due to his friendship with Newton. De Moivre pioneered the development of analytic geometry and the theory of probability. He then published The Doctrine of Chance in 1718. The definition of statistical independence appears in this book together with many problems with dice and other games. He also investigated mortality statistics and the foundation of the theory of annuities. In Miscellanea

Analytica (1730) appears Stirling’s formula which De Moivre used in 1733 to derive the normal curve as an approximation to the binomial. In the second edition of the book in 1738 De Moivre gives credit to Stirling for an improvement Despite de Moivre’s scientific eminence his main income was by tutoring mathematics and he died in poverty. He is famed for predicting the day of his own death. He found that he was sleeping 15 minutes longer each night and from this the arithmetic progression De Moivre calculated that he would die on the day that he slept for 24 hours. He was right!