Blaise Pascal (19 June 1623 – 19 August 1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Catholic theologian. He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father, a tax collector in Rouen. Pascal’s earliest work was in the natural and applied sciences, where he made important contributions to the study of fluids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum by generalising the work of Evangelista Torricelli. Pascal also wrote in defence of the scientific method.
Pascal continued to influence mathematics throughout his life. His Traité du triangle arithmétique (“Treatise on the Arithmetical Triangle“) of 1654 described a convenient tabular presentation for binomial coefficients, now called Pascal’s triangle.
He defines the numbers in the triangle by recursion: Call the number in the (m + 1) th row and (n + 1) th column . Then for m = 0, 1, 2, … and n = 0, 1, 2, … Pascal concludes the treatise with the proof of the formula