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# Gerolamo Cardano

**Gerolamo Cardano** or **Girolamo Cardano** (English **Jerome Cardan**, Latin **Hieronymus Cardanus**; September 24, 1501 - September 21, 1576) was a celebrated Italian Renaissance mathematician, physician, and astrologer.

As he was an illegitimate child, he could not enter the college of physicians. Despite this he was a relatively successful physician. The first description of Typhoid fever is attributed to him.

Today he is mainly known as a mathematician. He made some discoveries in algebra. He proposed ways to solve cubic and quartic equations. Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia told him about the solution of one particular cubic equation, *[math]x^3+ax+b=0[/math]*. This caused a long fight. His student Lodovico Ferrari solved the quartic equations. Cardano also speaks about imaginary numbers in the same book, *Ars Magna*.

Cardano was often short of money, and gambled compulsively. A book of his, *Liber de ludo aleae* (*Book on Games of Chance* in the English), contains the first systematic treatment of probability, as well as a section on cheating. He wrote it *c.* 1564, but it was first published posthumously, in 1663.

He invented various things, including the Cardan grille and the Baguenaudier . He also believed that perpetual motion was impossible, except for stars.