Mathematics started with counting. In about the 2000 BC’s, the Babylonians developed some mathematical ideas. Number problems like the Pythagorean triples (discovered by Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans, his students) were studied from 1700 BC. Linear equations were studied to solve problems, as well as quadratic equations. These led to a kind of numerical algebra. The Greeks studied similar figures, volume and area (geometry problems). Values were also determined for p . The Babylonian’s mathematics passed on to the Greeks. From 450 BC on the Greeks studied and improved many kinds of mathematics. The ancient Greeks discovered conic sections (circular shapes formed when cutting a cone at different angles). They also made many discoveries in astronomy and trigonometry. While the Greeks’ greatest mathematical discoveries were occurring between 300 BC and 200 BC, mathematics was also making progress in Islamic countries, such as Iran, Syria, and India. These mathematics were not as highly developed then the Greeks. The Islamic mathematics, however, preserved the works of the Greeks. They were brought back to Europe in the eighteenth century. Major work in mathematics in Europe began in about the sixteenth century, with the mathematician Girolamo Cardan and some others, such as Tartaglia, Ferrari, and Pacioli. They reformed what people thought the universe and mathematics were like. During the seventeenth century, mathematicians made more and more progress towards calculus and added some algebraic methods to geometry. The development toward calculus continued with the great mathematicians Pierre de Fermat. Together, with Blaise Pascal, they began the mathematical theory of probability. However, calculus evolved in the seventeenth century. Newton, Sir Isaac, discovered the branch of mathematics called calculus. He called it fluxions, which meant changing. His new discoveries contained an interaction between physics, astronomy, and mathematics. His theories on light and gravitation took us to the eighteenth century. Two branches of mathematics were invented in the eighteenth century, the calculus of variations and number theory, which had begun with Fermat.