Date of Award


Degree Type

Bachelors Essay

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Mathematical and Statistical Sciences


In studying the history of the cycloid and the related curves, it is interesting to note that the earliest notations and explanations were given not by a mathematician but by an artist. The description and instrumental construction of the epicycloid curve was presented in about 1525 by Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) a celebrated sculptor and painter of Nurnberg in his book "Underweysund der Messung mit dem Zyrkenund Rychtsceyd." The original idea, however, goes as far back as the time of Hipparchus, an astronomer, who used it in his astronomical theory of epicycles. This curve was now neglected until G. Desargues and P. La Hire continued the research. G. Desargues "re-invented the epicycloid", and applied it to mechanics in about the year 1650, while De La Hire wrote on roulettes and epicycloids in about the year 1685. The next mention concerning the these curves is from Francis Nicolae who worked particularly on spherical epicycloids and their rectification, in the beginning of the eighteenth century.


A Thesis submitted to fulfill partially the requirements for The Degree of Bachelor of Science

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Mathematics Commons