The science of mathematics underwent dramatic changes during the early
modern period. Not only did the intellectual status of the mathematician
increase relative to its competitors, but there were momentous
developments within the discipline itself. Descartes' development of
algebra, Napier's development of logarithms and Newton's and Leibniz's
invention of the calculus are some of the betterknown advances. Other
important mathematicians from the period include Blaise Pascal and
Pierre de Fermat of ‘Fermat's last theoremÂ’ fame. The geometrical method
of Greek mathematics, exemplified above all in Euclid, still provided
inspiration, but it was ultimately not adequate for the new applications
to which mathematics was being put. Thus we can see a marked difference
in the type of mathematics used by Galileo to that used later by Newton.
