Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, German philosopher gets a Google doodle

On Google’s home page today is a special Google logo, a doodle, for the Germany polymath and philosopher – Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. He was born 372 years ago in Leipzig, Germany on July 1, 1646.

His most notable accomplishment according to Wikipedia was “conceiving the grand ideas of differential and integral calculus independently and simultaneously with Isaac Newton’s similar conceptions.” He was also one of the prolific inventors in the field of mechanical calculators, he was the first to describe a pinwheel calculator in 1685 and he invented the Leibniz wheel, used in the arithmometer. The arithmometer was the first mass-produced mechanical calculator. And the reason he is likely most given a Google doodle was because he refined the binary number system, which is the foundation of virtually all computers.

He received his education from Leipzig University, University of Altdorf, and University of Jena.

He died at the age of 70 on November 14, 1716 in Hanover, Germany.

To learn more about his life and contributions, read his Wikipedia entry.