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Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was the oldest of seven children. He entered the University of Pisa in 1581 to study medicine. Soon he realized that his interests were not in medicine, but mathematics. After only a year in the university, he made his famous discovery on the movement of pendulums.

He then continued an independent study of science and mathematics while trying to convince his father to allow him to study science and math. In 1586 Galileo withdrew from the University of Pisa without a degree and headed back to live with his family. For the next few years he continued his study of science and gave a series of lectures on the Inferno of Dante’s The Divine Comedy at the Florentine Academy. Galileo had many influential friends who were able to help him gain an appointment as a lecturer of mathematics at the University of Pisa in 1859 and then as the chair of mathematics at the University of Padua in 1592.

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”

“Doubt is the father of invention.”

“I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him.”

“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”

“Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe.”

“The bible shows us not how heaven goes, but how to go to heaven.”

“You can not teach a man anything. You can only help him to find it within himself.”