On This Day in History: February 19
1473: Mathematician and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus born. He will formulate a model of the universe that places the Sun rather than the Earth at the center of the universe.
1600: The Peruvian stratovolcano Huaynaputina explodes in the most violent eruption in the recorded history of South America.
1799: Mathematician, physicist, and sailor Jean-Charles de Borda dies. He contributed to the development of the metric system, constructing a platinum standard meter, the basis of metric distance measurement.
1897: Mathematician and academic Karl Weierstrass dies. He will be cited as the "father of modern analysis".
2016: Novelist, literary critic, and philosopher Umberto Eco dies. He cited James Joyce and Jorge Luis Borges as the two modern authors who have influenced his work the most.
2017: Mathematician and dissident Igor Shafarevich dies. He made fundamental contributions to algebraic number theory, algebraic geometry, and arithmetic algebraic geometry.
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