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Heir to a large fortune, I was supposed to study law at a Jesuit Collge...but spent all of my time studying mathematics and astronomy.

In the beginning of my career, I published translations of Hales' Vegetable Statics and Newton's Fluxions, in addiiton to many personal papers on physics.

To investigate the credability of Archimedes, I used a system of 168 mirrors to set wood planks on fire at a distance of 150 feet.

My claim to fame is my production of a 44-volume encyclopedia decribing every part of the animal kingdom and the history of the earth.

Ah...and as to mathematics, I determined a value of pi by dropping a needle on a set of parallel lines.

Answer: Georges Louis Leclerc Comte de Buffon (1707 - 1788)