Annuities on Lives: with Several Tables, Exhibiting at One View, the Values of Lives, for Different Rates in Interest
by Abraham de Moivre
|Annuities on Lives|
at the College of William & Mary.
|Author||Abraham de Moivre|
Abraham de Moivre (1667-1754) was a French mathematician who made important contributions to trigonometry and probability. He was born in Vitry, France, to a Protestant family. In 1685, King Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes (an order which gave Protestants religious freedom) and so de Moivre fled to London, England. In London, he became a close friend of Sir Isaac Newton and Edmund Halley (of Halley’s Comet fame). In 1697, de Moivre was elected to the Royal Society and in 1712 was appointed to settle the bitter dispute between Newton and Gottfried Leibniz over the priority for the systematization of calculus. Although de Moivre was a talented mathematician, he spent the majority of life his life in relative poverty as he was not able to obtain a position at an English university (due to his French citizenship).
Annuities on Lives was first published in 1725 and is primarily concerned with mortality statistics. In this work, de Moivre laid the mathematical foundations of the theory of annuities (fixed sums of money paid to a person on a yearly basis). He devised formulae based on a hypothesized law of mortality and constant rates of interest on money. 
Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library
- Eli Maor, Trigonometric Delights (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011), 80.
- “Moivre, Abraham De (1667-1754)”, The Hutchinson Dictionary of Scientific Biography (Abington, United Kingdom: Helicon, 2014), accessed April 14, 2015.
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