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FamousBelgians

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As a Belgian Hackerspace, we are proud of what certain Belgians have achieved.
This page is dedicated to those Belgians.

Adolphe Sax

Adolphe Quetelet

  • Astronomer, mathematician, statistician and sociologist.
  • Inventor of the BMI (Body Mass Index), then called "Quetelet index".
  • Discovered strong statistical relationships between "age and crime", "gender and crime", as well as "climate, poverty, education, and alcohol consumption".
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolphe_Quetelet

Albert Claude

  • Medical doctor and cell biologist.
  • Winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
  • He developed the technique of cell fractionation, by which he discovered the agent of the Rous sarcoma, components of cell organelles such as mitochondrion, chloroplast, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, ribosome and lysosome.
  • He was the first to employ an electron microscope in the field of biology.
  • In 1945 he published the first detailed structure of a cell.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Claude

Andreas Vesalius (Andries van Wezel)

Camille Jenatzy

Charles Delstanche

  • First doctor in Belgium to specialise in otology.
  • Developed several important medical instruments and methods, some of which are still in use today: Delstanche Ring, an eardrum-massager and a tool for removing tonsils.
  • No wiki entry... :-(

Charles Van Depoele

Christian de Duve

Cipriano de Rore (Cyprien de Rore)

Constant Loiseau

  • Medical Doctor
  • Created the optometer which measures the refraction of light by the eye
  • Optometer was used to disproof claims by conscripts (Civilians selected for military duty) that they had bad eyesight.
  • Optometer led to the development of optometrists

Dries Buytaert

Edward De Smedt

Ernest Solvay

  • Chemist, industrialist and philanthropist.
  • Developed the ammonia-soda process for the manufacturing of soda ash (anhydrous sodium carbonate) from brine (as a source of sodium chloride) and limestone (as a source of calcium carbonate). The process was an improvement over the earlier Leblanc process.
  • Started a series of important conferences in physics, known as the Solvay Conferences, whose participants included luminaries such as Max Planck, Ernest Rutherford, Maria Sklodowska-Curie, Henri Poincaré, and (then only 32 years old) Albert Einstein. A later conference would include Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Max Born, and Erwin Schrödinger.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Solvay

Etienne Lenoir

François Englert

  • Theoretical Physicist on the Université Libre de Bruxelles and Tel Aviv University.
  • Won the Nobel prize for Physics in 2013 together with Peter Higgs for "the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider" A.K.A. The Higgs Boson
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%C3%A7ois_Englert

Georges Cuisenaire

Georges Lemaître

  • Priest, astronomer and professor of physics
  • Pioneer in applying Einstein's theory of general relativity to cosmology.
  • First person to propose the theory of the accelerated expansion of the Universe.
  • Derived what became known as Hubble's law and proposed it as a generic phenomenon in relativistic cosmology.
  • Estimated the numerical value of the Hubble constant, but the data used by Lemaître did not allow him to prove that there was an actual linear relation, which Hubble did two years later.
  • Proposed a "hypothesis of the primeval atom", which became known as "the Big Bang theory of the origin of the Universe"
  • Early adopter of computers for cosmological calculations. He introduced the first computer to his university (a Burroughs E101) in 1958.
  • Was one of the inventors of the Fast Fourier transform algorithm.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lema%C3%AEtre_coordinates
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Lemaitre

Georges Remi

Gerardus Mercator (Gerard de Kremer)

  • Cartographer, philosopher and mathematician.
  • Best known for his work in cartography, in particular the world map of 1569 based on a new projection which represented sailing courses of constant bearing as straight lines.
  • He was the first to use the term Atlas for a collection of maps.
  • Many major online street mapping services (Bing Maps, OpenStreetMap, Google Maps, MapQuest, Yahoo Maps, and others) use a variant of the Mercator projection for their map images.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercator_projection
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerardus_Mercator

Ingrid Daubechies

Jean Baptiste Reinhardt (Django)

Jean Meeus

  • Astronomer specializing in celestial mechanics
  • The algorithms from his book "Astronomical Algorithms" were the starting point for the first software implementations.
  • These algoritms are still used today in a lot of software libraries or internet sites. (NOAA, NASA, etc...)
  • Jan Meeus is still the principal author of the yearly celestial calendar (Dutch: Hemelkalender) published in Belgium by "Vereniging voor Sterrenkunde".
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Meeus

Joan Daemen

  • Cryptographer who co-designed the Rijndael cipher with Vincent Rijmen
  • Rijndael was selected as the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) in 2001.
  • Co-designed the Keccak cryptographic hash, which was selected as the new SHA-3 hash by NIST in October 2012.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan_Daemen

John Joseph Merlin

Joseph Delboeuf

  • Philosopher, mathematician, experimental psychologist, hypnotist and psychophysicist.
  • He was a highly respected as a psychologist in his lifetime, the author of an extensive and diverse works, and is known for his work on hypnosis as well as for his important contribution to the debate around the psychophysical.
  • Probably best known for his description the Delboeuf illusion in 1893. Many experiments have been performed on this illusion since that time.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Delboeuf
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delboeuf_illusion

Joseph Plateau

Jules Bordet

Karel Bossart

Leo Hendrik Baekeland

Louis Zimmer

Marcellin Jobard (Jean-Baptiste-Ambroise-Marcellin Jobard)

  • Belgian lithographer, photographer and inventor.
  • Het played a role in the artistic, technological, scientific and industrial development of Belgium.
  • Took the first Belgian photograph on 16 September 1839, followed by the first portret in October.
  • Proposed the use of "extra emotional typographic characters" (Emoticons) in 1814 for his own newspapers.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcellin_Jobard

Paul Van Hoeydonck

Pierre Culliford

Robert Cailliau

Simon Stevin

  • Mathematician and military engineer.
  • Invented the land yacht
  • Translated various mathematical terms into Dutch, making it one of the few European languages in which the word for mathematics, wiskunde (wis + kunde i.e. "the art of what is certain"), was not derived from Greek (via Latin).
  • Initiated the science of hydrostatics by demonstrating that the pressure exerted by a liquid upon a given surface depends on the height of the liquid and the area of the surface.
  • Contributed significantly to the sciences of trigonometry, geography, fortification, and navigation
  • Devised and urged the universal use of decimal fractions and decimal systems of coins, weights, and measures.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Stevin
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_sailing

Sœur Sourire (Jeanine Deckers)

Van Eyck (Hubert & Jan)

Vincent Rijmen

  • Cryptographer who co-designed the Rijndael cipher with Joan Daemen.
  • Rijndael was selected as the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) in 2001.
  • co-designer of the WHIRLPOOL cryptographic hash function, and the block ciphers Anubis, KHAZAD, Square, NOEKEON and SHARK.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_Rijmen

Zénobe Gramme