## Laplace great⁶-grand child!

**L**ooking at the Family Tree application (I discovered via Peter Coles’ blog), I just found out that I was Laplace’s [academic] great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grand-child! Through Poisson and Chasles. Going even further, as Simeon Poisson was also advised by Lagrange, my academic lineage reaches Euler and the Bernoullis. Pushing always further, I even found William of Ockham along one of the “direct” branches! Amazing ancestry, to which my own deeds pay little homage if any… (However, I somewhat doubt the strength of the links for the older names, since pursuing them ends up at John the Baptist!)

I wonder how many other academic descendants of Laplace are alive today. Too bad Family Tree does not seem to offer this option! Given the longevity of both Laplace and Poisson, they presumably taught many students, which means a lot of my colleagues and even of my Bayesian colleagues should share the same illustrious ancestry. For instance, I share part of this ancestry with Gérard Letac. And both Jean-Michel Marin and Arnaud Guillin. Actually, checking with the Mathematics Genealogy Project, I see that Laplace had… one student!, but still a grand total of [at least] 85,738 descendants… Incidentally, looking at the direct line, most of those had very few [recorded] descendants.

January 5, 2016 at 3:11 pm

I can also trace myself back to Laplace, although up the Dirichlet branch rather than the Chasles one! I have recently posted a family tree on my blog that includes several prominent statisticians who are still around – http://researchinreading.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/the-laplace-family.html

August 7, 2015 at 2:02 pm

According to the Mathematics Genealogy Project, Lagrange has 85767 descendants (most dead, obviously): http://genealogy.math.ndsu.nodak.edu/id.php?id=17864

August 3, 2015 at 2:26 pm

Good to meet you. My Great^10-Grand Father is Laplace. So you would be my 7th cousin, 5-times removed, I think.

August 5, 2015 at 2:11 pm

A good (?!) summer undergrad project: estimate the number of living [academic] descendants of Laplace…