Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Christian philosopher. He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father, a tax collector in Rouen. Pascal's earliest work was in the natural and applied sciences where he made important contributions to the study of fluids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum. While still a teenager he built calculating machines, “Pascalines,” establishing him as one of the first two inventors of the mechanical calculator.
Pascal wrote influential works on philosophy and theology.