Pierre de Fermat was an illustrious seventeenth century mathematician whose contribution in developing infinitesimal calculus was a milestone. Also he played a pivotal role in the development of analytic geometry, optics and probability. His monumental work is considered to be Fermat’s Last Theorem and Fermat’s principle for light propagation.

The real date of birth of Fermat is contradictory as some believe that he was born sometime between, 31 October to 6 December. However, the year and place of his birth is undisputed that is 1607 in Beaumont-de-Lomagne, France. He was born in a mansion, which has now turned into a museum, to an affluent family. His father had earned his wealth from his leather business. Historians are divided on the notion as to whether Françoise Cazeneuve or Claire de Long could be his mother. He grew up in Beaumont-de-Lomagne with two sisters and a brother.

It is speculated that he received his early education from the Collège de Navarre in Montauban, although there is no evidence to support the theory. For higher education in 1623, he went on to attend the University of Orléans to study civil law. In 1626 was awarded a bachelor’s degree in civil law. Subsequently, he moved to Bordeaux where he began his first mathematical researches. He restored a copy of *De Locis Planis* by Apollonius and presented it to the other mathematicians. Fermat also worked on maxima and minima which are considered to be some of his important works. François Viète influenced his work while he was there.

In the Parlement de Toulouse, he purchased a councilors office after being sworn in by the Grand Chambre. He changed his name to Pierre de Fermat from just Pierre Fermat having an office in high court. He was fluent in six languages including, Latin, classical Greek, Spanish, Italian, Occitin and of course his native language French. Most of his work was preserved from his communication with his friends via letters. In his letters he often discussed some fundamental ideas of calculus. Being a practicing lawyer, Fermat treated mathematics more as a hobby than as a career, yet his services to this discipline is noteworthy. Calculus, probability, analytical geometry and number theory were some of his significant contributions to.

Fermat’s monumental work which was published posthumously in 1679 had great implications for analytic geometry. Furthermore, he is credited for developing a method to calculate maxima and minima. He worked out a theory for finding the centers of gravity of various plane and solid figures. He studied Pell’s equation in number theory and while he was researching perfect numbers, he stumbled upon Fermat’s little theorem. Moreover, he was associated with the invention of Fermat’s factorization method. He claimed to have proved all his theorems but there is not much evidence of it that could be found. Eminent mathematician, Gauss were suspicious of his claims owing to the complexity posed by the problem and limitations of methods that were available at that time.

In an edition of Diophantus, Fermat’s son found his popular Last Theorem. It was proved in late twentieth century by Sir Andrew Wiles with the help of methods that were not available back then. In collaboration with Blaise Pascal he laid the groundwork for the theory of probability, in 1654 and later assumed the title of ‘the co-founders of the probability theory’.