This date in science: Leonhard Euler’s 306th birthday

The Google doodle for April 16, 2013 honors physicist and mathematician Leonhard Euler, whose 306th birthday is today.

Google doodle April 15, 2013 in honor of Leonhard Euler's 306th birthday

Google doodle April 15, 2013 in honor of Leonhard Euler’s 306th birthday

Portrait of Leonhard Euler (1707-1783) made in 1753

Portrait of Leonhard Euler (1707-1783) made in 1753

April 15, 1707. Leonhard Euler’s 306th birthday is today. He was born on April 15, 1707. Today Google, the search engine giant, is celebrating with an animated Google doodle. If you’re looking on April 15, 2013, you’ll see the animated version of Leonhard Euler’s google doodle here.

Leonhard Euler was born in Basel, Switzerland. He was a physicist and mathematician whose contribution and discoveries continue to be significant in the fields of infinitesimal calculus and graph theory. In fact, his most famous theorem (V – E + F = 2) might have shown up in your algebra or geometry class. The formula also appears on the April 15, 2013 Goggle doodle.

This work by Euler is now known as the Euler characteristic. Mathematicians compute this Euler Characteristic to create a mathematical description of the shape of a surface, no matter which way the surface is bent. Read more about the Euler Characteristic here.

Euler was considered a prodigy. He was enrolled at the University of Basel at the age of 13. In 1723, at the age of 16, he received his Master of Philosophy.

Thank you EarthSky Facebook and G+ friend Kausor Khan for alerting us to today’s Google doodle!

Bottom line: The Google doodle for April 16, 2013 honors Leonhard Euler, whose 306th birthday is today.

Deborah Byrd