Mathematicians eminence ranking

The purpose here is to build a list of mathematicians, ranked by eminence, targetting reliability and verifiability.
This is a preparatory work. Mathematicians are used to learn eminence ranking : implement, identify where human choices are made. See if a consensual list can be built, as described in page on eminence ranking.


  • Gather eminence indicators
  • Clean indicators
  • Merge them in a common database
  • Divide by periods
  • Make a global rank => propose lists

Working directories

Eminence indicators

Here are the indicators used so far :
Name N Scores Type 20 first
Wikidata 2508 0 - 275 Link count Einstein Newton Edison Descartes Koppernigk Pascal Gauss Dürer Russell Kepler Euler Wittgenstein Bruno Maxwell Hobbes Hilbert Dodgson Fourier Heisenberg Poincaré
MacTutor 2841 0 - 293 Link count Hilbert Newton Euclid Riemann Poincare Euler Klein Einstein Gauss Weierstrass Laplace Cauchy Lagrange Hardy Lie Von-Neumann Fourier Dirichlet Leibniz Descartes
Bourbaki 458 1 - 51 Book index Dedekind Leibniz Hilbert Gauss Riemann Euler Weierstrass Lebesgue Kronecker Lie Euclide Fermat Cauchy Newton Lagrange Poincaré Cantor Pascal Dirichlet Descartes
Dieudonné 330 Book index Mathematicians are not sorted
Escofier 229 1 - 12 Book index Fermat Euler Hilbert Gauss Poincaré Cauchy Grothendieck Galois Euclide Riemann Legendre Lagrange Pascal Monge Fourier Archimède Abel Weil Von-Neumann Newton
IREM 305 1 - 80 Book index Euclide Euler Fermat Descartes Newton Chasles Archimede Aristote Lagrange Nicomaque Leibniz Gauss Galilee Legendre Alberti Mersenne Eudoxe Alembert Piero-della-francesca Bernoulli
PDD 220 1 - 20 Book index Cauchy Gauss Euler Euclide Riemann Lagrange Dedekind Galois Poncelet Newton Leibniz Fermat Diophante Archimède Pythagore Klein Al-Karagi Cayley Weierstrass Descartes
fabpedigree 100 Ranked list Newton Archimedes Gauss Euler Riemann Poincare Lagrange Euclid Hilbert Leibniz Grothendieck Fermat Galois Neumann Descartes Weier Ramanujan Weyl Dirichlet Abel

The choice of these indicators was guided by the availability of data, the ease to extract information.
For example, anglophone books on history of maths were not included because name and topic indexes are mixed, so names are not easily extractable.

Potential other indicators.


Wikidata poses a problem because some persons are associated to several different occupation codes. One person very famous in one discipline has a high link count and also appears on top in maths. This is the case for Einstein (physicist) and Kepler (astronomer). They both practiced maths but didn't make discoveries that would lead to consider them as important mathematicians.
For example, from wikidata 20 top list, I would remove Einstein, Edison, Koppernigk, Kepler, Wittgenstein, Bruno, Hobbes, Heisenberg and maybe Maxwell.




type: book

title: Éléments d'histoire des Mathématiques
author: Nicolas Bourbaki
edition: |
  2007 (3rd edition ; reprint from 1984 version, ed. Masson)

description: |
  "INDEX DES NOMS CITÉS", pp 366 - 376 of the book


type: book

title: Abrégé d'histoire des mathématiques
author: Jean Dieudonné
edition: |
  1996 (reprint)
description: |
  "Index historique", pp 495 - 512 of the book


type: book

title: Histoire des mathématiques
author: Jean-Pierre Escofier
edition: |
  Collection Les topos

description: |
  Index, pp 125 - 128 of the book


type: book

title: Histoires de problèmes. Histoire des mathématiques
author: Commission Inter-IREM Epistémologie et Histoire des Mathématiques
edition: |
  Ed. Ellipses Paris
  Collection : IREM - Epistémologie et Histoire des Maths

description: |
  "Index des noms", pp 415 - 419 of the book
Bug line 306
RECORDE	Robert	vers 1510-1558	0

Peiffer Dahan Dalmenico

type: book

title: Une histoire des mathématiques - Routes et dédales
  - Amy Dahan-Dalmedico
  - Jeanne Peiffer
edition: |
    Editions du Seuil

description: |
  "Index des noms propres", p 307-309 of the book


Human opinion

Here are listed the cases involving a choice made by humans.
  • Choice of the indicators
  • Removal of persons coming from other disciplines

Observed bias in the indicators

  • Citation count from book index do not reflect exactly the number of time a mathematician is cited in the book.
    Example for PDD : Gauss appears in many pages not listed in the index.
    => Need for a tool similar to Google books: extract the names from the whole text, without being limited to the index.
    Such a method applied to PDD would probably rank Gauss before Cauchy.
  • Current indicators have a national bias for France, because only French books were used.

Merge data

Match wikidata

Match g5 database

Match to birth certificates

Divide by historical periods

Build global lists