Record

Authorised form of nameMoivre; Abraham de (1667 - 1754); French mathematician
Other forms of nameAbraham
Other forms of surnameMoivre
de Moivre
Dates1667 - 1754
NationalityFrench
Place of birthVitry-le-Francois, Champagne, France, Europe
Date of birth26 May 1667
Place of deathLondon, England, Europe
Date of death27 November 1754
Dates and placesBurial: St Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, London (1 December 1754)
OccupationMathematician
Research fieldProbability
Mathematics
ActivityEducation:
Christian Brothers' school [Pères de la Doctrine Chrétienne] 1672-7; Sedan 1678-1681; Saumur 1682-4; College d'Harcourt, Paris
Career:
A Huguenot, he was imprisoned after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685); naturalised British (1687, 1706); fled to London (1688); taught and lectured on mathematics; met with Halley and subsequently with Newton in 1692; his publication on Newton's doctrine of fluxions overseen by Halley and published in Philosophical Transactions (1695); friend of Isaac Newton (FRS 1672); in 1712 became a member of the set up by the Royal Society to support Newton's priority in the dispute between Newton and Leibnitz and was drawn into the ensuing quarrels which lasted until the 1720s. Having lost his sight and hearing, he died of somnolence.
Memberships:
Fellow of the Kurfuerstlich Brandenburgische Sozietaet der Wissenschaften (1735)
Foreign Associate of the Academie Royale des Sciences (1754)
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election30/11/1697
Age at election30
ProposerSir John Hoskins
RelationshipsParents: Daniel Moivre, Surgeon, of Vitry and Anne Moivre
Published worksRCN 33091
RCN 36091
RCN 36092
RCN 36097
RCN 36098
RCN 36095
RCN 36094
RCN 36093
General contextProminent mathematician and loyal Newtonian, known for his work in infinitesimal calculus and probability theory. De Moivre's early mathematical pursuits included a polynomial theorem and engagement in debates, notably with George Cheyne. His correspondence with Leibniz and Johann Bernoulli aimed at securing a continental professorship but waned after his involvement in the Newton-Leibniz priority dispute.
Recognizing the competitive nature of analysis, de Moivre shifted focus to probability theory and games of chance, where he made lasting contributions. His work culminated in the central limit theorem, a highlight of his career, demonstrating his intuitive understanding of statistical concepts. He also developed tools like a 'new algebra' for probability problem-solving.
In 1718, de Moivre published "Doctrine of Chances," addressing probability concepts and applications. His central limit theorem, presented in 1738, was considered a major achievement, demonstrating an early grasp of standard deviation. The theorem's foundation involved collaboration with Stirling and a competition that concluded in 1730.
De Moivre's interest in societal matters led him to explore financial concepts, such as annuities and loans. His book "Annuities upon Lives" (1725) addressed these economic topics, showcasing his analytical prowess and influencing subsequent mathematicians like Lagrange and Laplace.

Known for:
De Moivre's formula (also known as de Moivre's theorem and de Moivre's identity), a formula that links complex numbers and trigonometry, and for his work on the normal distribution and probability theory.
De Moivre's law: survival model applied in actuarial science, named for Abraham de Moivre.[1][2][3] It is a simple law of mortality based on a linear survival function.
De Moivre's martingale: a sequence of random variables (i.e., a stochastic process) for which, at a particular time, the conditional expectation of the next value in the sequence is equal to the present value, regardless of all prior values.
De Moivre–Laplace theorem: special case of the central limit theorem, states that the normal distribution may be used as an approximation to the binomial distribution under certain conditions.
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Moivre P0090.jpg

SourcesSources:
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; DSB; Hunter; Shaw LD
References:
J A Lohne, 'Experimentum Crucis' in NR 1968 vol 23 pp 169-199
M Greenwood, 'The First Life Table' in NR 1938 vol 1 pp 70-72
Virtual International Authority Filehttp://viaf.org/viaf/71525671
Royal Society codeNA6806
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
EL/M3/52Letter, from Abraham de Moivre to John MachinJanuary 1736
M/148Moivre, Abraham de1741
LBO/16/7Copy of a letter from John Woolhouse, Paris, to Abraham Moivre 4 November 1712
CLP/1/39/2Diagrams, comet and equations by [Abraham de Moivre?][1695]
P/0090Portrait of Moivre, Abraham de1736
EL/W3/97Letter, from John Woolhouse to Mr [Abraham de] Moivre, dated at Paris4 November 1712
L&P/1/299Letter, 'The calculates values on annuties on lives' from Abraham de Moivre to William Jones1744
CLP/1/43Paper, 'The report of what was contained in Mr de Moivres papers opend before the Society on 5th of May 1720' by unknown author5 May 1720
CLP/1/39Paper, 'Specimina quaedam illustria doctrinae fluxionum sive exempla quibus methodi istius usus et praestantia in solvendis problematis geometricis elucidatur ex epistola peritissimi mathematici' [Some illustrious examples of fluxions or examples by which the use and excellence of this method of solving geometrical problems is elucidated, from a letter from the most experienced mathematician] by D Abr [Abraham] de Moivre[1695]
CLP/1/39/1Manuscript, 'Specimina quaedam illustria doctrinae fluxionum sive exempla quibus methodi istius usus et praestantia in solvendis problematis geometricis elucidatur ex epistola peritissimi mathematici' [Some illustrious examples of fluxions or examples by which the use and excellence of this method of solving geometrical problems is elucidated, from a letter from the most experienced mathematician] by D Abr [Abraham] de Moivre10 July 1695
CLP/1/7Paper, 'The doctrine of combinations and alternations improv'd and compleated' by Major Edward Thornycroft[1705]
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