Abel, Niels Henrik Abel, is a famous Norwegian mathematician. Abel was a pioneer in the development of several branches of modern mathematics. "Abel was one of the innovators in the field of elliptic functions, discoverer of Abelian functions and one of the leaders in the use of rigor in mathematics."" (www.shu.edu) Many famous mathematicians (some of whom I will mention) have been greatly influenced by his works. One mathematician once said that he "left mathematicians something to keep them busy for five hundred years."" (www.shu.edu) Although he had great accomplishments in mathematics, his life was a very hard one and is even said to be "tragic."" (www.shu.edu) .
Niels Henrik Abel was born on August 5, 1802. He was on of seven children born to a poor pastor in the small village of FinnÖy in Norway, a country so poor at the time that peasants would leave their country in groups just to escape starvation. Abel's mathematical talent was recognized in 1817, when he entered the Cathedral School in Christiania, by his teacher named Bernt Michael Holmbe. Holmbes introduced him to the classics in mathematical literature and proposed original problems for him to solve. He studied the works of the 17th-century English mathematicians and physicist Isaac Newton and the contemporary mathematicians Leonard Euler, Joseph-Louis Lagrange, and Carl Friedrich Gauss and learned to detect gaps in their mathematical reasoning. (R. Tolimieri and M. An) .
Although Abel's father died in 1820 and left the family in tough circumstances, he was still able to enter the University of Christiana in 1821 because Holmbes contributed to raise funds. He obtained a Preliminary degree from the university in 1822 and continued his studies independently with further subsidies obtained by his teacher.
Some of Abel's first papers were published in 1823 in the new periodical Magazin for Naturvidenskaberne "papers on functional equations and integrals.