Though a son of poor farmers, neighbors noticed my academic skills and pooled the money necessary to send me to school in Caen.
After mastering applied mathematics by age 18, I sent a letter about the principles of mechanics to D'Alembert, who was so impressed that he found me a teaching post at the Paris Military School.
My major mathematical work in 1812 served as the foundation for modern probability theory, though it paled in comparison to my 5volume work on celestial mechanics.
For Napoleon, I served as a mathematician on the battlefield and worked on the Commission for Weights and Measures.
When the Bourbons returned to power, they made me a Marquis, and then in 1816 I was elected one of the Forty Immortals of the Academie Francaise.
Though regarded as one of the "greats" in the history of science, on my deathbed I uttered: "What we know is minute; what we are ignorant of is vast."
Answer:
Pierre Simon Laplace (1749  1827)
