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Blaise Pascal



Blaise Pascal
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.46

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    bedridden, Blaise, brilliance, calculus, economics, happening, mathematical, precocious, probability, theological, passion, mathematics, geometry, definitely, mathematician, education
     content words:    Blaise Pascal


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Blaise Pascal
By Colleen Messina
  

1     Someone once said "better late than never." In the case of one famous mathematician, this saying applied perfectly to his study of geometry. Blaise Pascal never had any math classes until he was twelve years old. In spite of a late start, Pascal became one of the greatest mathematicians of all time.
 
2     Blaise Pascal was born on June 19, 1623, in Clermont, France. His father was a judge who liked science and math. Pascal's mother died when he was young, and his father devoted himself to his son's education. He saw that his son was precocious. Pascal was taught at home because his father didn't want him overlooked in a classroom.
 
3     At first, Pascal only studied Latin and Greek. He never studied math because his father wanted him to wait until he was 15. As a bright teenager, he became curious about it. Pascal had other ideas. He asked his tutor about geometry when he was 12. This probably made the tutor nervous. The tutor timidly told the boy that geometry was the study of shapes. Pascal was fascinated. Even though his father told him not to study math, he started to spend all of his play time drawing triangles and studying their angles. He finally convinced his father to let him study geometry. Imagine how strange it would seem if your parents told you that you were not allowed to take any math classes in school...but you begged to go!

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