Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646-1716), a German philosopher, mathematician, and logician who created differential and integral calculus, independently of Sir Isaac Newton, in the 1670s. He introduced several notations used in calculus to this day; for instance, the integral sign '?', representing an elongated 'S' from the Latin word summa, and the d used for differentials from the Latin word differentia. Leibniz is credited with the term "function" (1694), which he used to describe a quantity related to a curve, such as a curve's slope or a specific point on a curve. Leibniz constructed the first mechanical calculator capable of multiplication and division. He also developed the modern form of the binary numeral system, used today in digital computers.
- University of St. Andrews, Scotland, School of Mathematics and Statistics. Leibniz Biography.