Boiledbeans

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March 21, 2009

Spellbound

srikanth @ 9:00 pm, GMT +0000 ( 1237669225 ) Play

Another curvy question… Tell me a true story involving these three

  1. 92db6d998fab87a98e9bd783377b9fb6
  2. 756d3bad6799ab385f814a7b4eaec831
  3. 8c77e343147fcc959af641ff033399e7

Jean Valjean , p vs np , Raghuvansh , udupendra , varuns88 , shrik , malcaluffin , sidsen , sand , Anand Krishna Shankar , Dibyo and darthshak told me the right story.

Answer:

  1. Maria Gaeta Agnesi
  2. The curve: The witch of Agnesi
  3. John Colson

Colson mistranslated “The curve of Agnesi” into “The witch of Agnesi”, hence forever naming this curve this way.


20 Responses to “Spellbound”

  1. Nakul

    witch of Agnesi

    The curve was studied by Pierre de Fermat in 1666, Guido Grandi in 1701, and by Maria Agnesi in 1748.

    In Italian, the curve is called la versiera di Agnesi which means \


  2. Pic 1 – Maria Gaetana Agnesi
    Pic 2 – The witch of agnesi
    Pic 3 – John Colson
    1\’s greatest work was Instituzioni analitiche ad uso della gioventu italiana which was regarded as the best introduction extant to the works of Euler. 3 did the english translation of the work and mistranlated the name of the curve 2, which, was supposed to be derived from the italian word for \


  3. u2001137

    1. Maria Agnesi
    2. Witch of Agnesi
    3. Pierre de Fermat

    The curve was actually discovered by Fermat in 1666, but he didnot give it any name. It was again studied by Guido Grandi in 1701, who named it as “versiera”. Maria Agnesi again studied it in 1748. In Italian, the curve is called “la versiera di Agnesi” which means “the curve of Agnesi”. The word “versiera” is derived from Latin word “vertere”, which means “to turn”. Cambridge professor John Colson once read it as “l’avversiera di Agnesi” which means “witch of agnesi”. The silly pun is still lovingly preserved.


  4. Ajay Parasuram
    1
    2

    Witch of Agnesi(1) – a problem first suggested by John Colson(3)


  5. p vs np
    1

    Lovely question.. Too good :)

    Details:

    1. Maria Gaetana Agnesi, a child prodigy and a mathematician at the University of Bologna.
    2. The curve y = a^3/(x^2 + a^2), named initially as ‘aversiera’ by Agnesi, which was analysed by her in her teaching manual.
    3. British mathematician John Colson, fifth Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge.

    The curve,’aversiera’, which means ‘to turn’, was translated as ‘avversiere’, which means ‘witch’ when read by Colson. Hence, ‘Witch of Agnesi’ stuck, the name by which we know the curve today.

    And coincidentally, the curve does look like a witch’s hat! :)

    Cracked by
    p vs np and his Merry Men :)


  6. Raghuvansh
    1
    9
    4

    Maria Agnesi had the “Curve of Agnesi” named after her; something was lost in translation by John Colson and it ended up being named “Witch of Agnesi” in English.


  7. witch of agnesi


  8. udupendra
    4
    4
    7

    The curve Witch of Agnesi (2) is named after Maria Agnesi (1), and named by John Colson (3).

    Wiki says – In Italian, the curve is called la versiera di Agnesi which means “the curve of Agnesi”. Early on this was read by Cambridge professor John Colson as “l’avversiera di Agnesi”, where “avversiera” means “woman contrary to God” and hence “witch”, and the mistranslation into English stuck.


  9. varuns88
    4
    2
    2

    Prof. John Colson used his awesome Italian prowess to mispronounce ‘la versiera di Agnesi'(curve of Agnesi) as ‘l’avversiera di Agnesi'(witch of Agnesi) leaving Maria Agnesi mighty pissed.


  10. shrik
    10
    7
    9

    John Colson (3) mis-translated Maria Agnesi’s (1) representation of her curve, from Italian to English as the Witch of Agnesi (2)


  11. malcaluffin

    Witch of Agnesi


  12. malcaluffin

    The curve was studied by Pierre de Fermat in 1666, Guido Grandi in 1701, and by Maria Agnesi in 1748.

    In Italian, the curve is called la versiera di Agnesi which means “the curve of Agnesi”. Early on this was read by Cambridge professor John Colson as “l’avversiera di Agnesi”, where “avversiera” means “woman contrary to God” and hence “witch”, and the mistranslation into English stuck


  13. sidsen
    2

    how the witch of agnesi gets its name
    can i also request you guys to update crediting me with points for v2 frau mond thanks


  14. sand

    the famous witch of agnesi curve. investigated by italian maria agnesi (pic 1) but the name ‘witch’ is attributed to a mistranslation by John Colson, Lucasian chair in Cambridge (pic 3).


  15. Anand Krishna Shankar

    1. Maria Gaetana Agnesi (May 16, 1718 – January 9, 1799) was an Italian linguist, mathematician, and philosopher. Agnesi (pronounced \’Anyesi\’) is credited with writing the first book discussing both differential and integral calculus.

    Story :
    Madame Agnesi also wrote a commentary on the Traite analytique des sections coniques du marquis de l\’Hôpital, which, though highly praised by those who saw it in manuscript, was never published. She discussed the curve known as the \


  16. Anand Krishna Shankar

    I believe the first post was too long :)

    The answers :
    1.Maria Gaetana Agnesi
    2.The witch of Agnesi.
    3.Johnathan ‘John’ Colson

    Check out the story @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Gaetana_Agnesi

    Gist :
    Colson, who translated Agnesi’s text to English, perhaps confused “la versiera” with “l’avversiera”, and so mistranslated it as “she-devil” or “the witch”, with the result that English-speakers and, for some reason, Spanish speakers from Mexico, Cuba, and Spain, know the curve as the “Witch of Agnesi


  17. Dibyo
    11
    14
    10

    1. Maria Gaeta Agnesi
    2. The Witch of Agnesi
    3. John Colson

    The curve was studied by Maria Agnesi in 1748.

    In Italian, the curve is called la versiera di Agnesi which means “the curve of Agnesi”. Early on this was read by Cambridge professor John Colson as “l’avversiera di Agnesi”, where “avversiera” means “woman contrary to God” and hence “witch”, and the mistranslation into English stuck


  18. darthshak

    Pic 1 -> Maria Agnesi
    Pic 2 -> “Witch of Agnesi”
    Pic 3 -> John Colson.

    The Witch of Agnesi was a curve that was studied by Agnesi and Fermat. The name of the curve originated when John Colson was translating Agnesi’s work and wound up translating it accidentally as Witch.


  19. Rithwik K

    The curve was studied by Pierre de Fermat in 1666, Guido Grandi in 1701, and by Maria Agnesi in 1748.


  20. Agnesi’s Witch


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