It starts in France, in the early 1600’s. When he was just 16, Pascal wrote a paper that revolutionized the study of mathematics. The paper was SO good, that the leading mathematicians of the day didn’t believe he wrote it. They insisted that his father had written it. That’s the kind of guy he was. He was smart. His father, Etienne Pascal, was in charge of collecting and recording ALL the tax payments in one of Europe’s biggest cities at the time. QUITE the job. In fact, it was too much work for Etienne. He couldn’t keep up with all the calculations; he was constantly overwhelmed, and as a result his health started declining. Pascal wanted to help his struggling father. So he finally decided to do something when he turned 18.