The French philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes invented the Cartesian plane in the 17th century. The name Cartesian is derived from Descartes' own name.
Rene Descartes is recognized as the inventor of analytic geometry, which is a way of visualizing algebraic functions. Descartes' ideas about geometry, including the Cartesian plane, were published in the 1637 treatise "La geometrie." According to the University of Alabama at Little Rock, a popular myth holds that Descartes developed the theory behind the Cartesian plane while watching a fly crawl around on the ceiling above his bed. Though Descartes accomplished a lot in his lifetime, it is said that he never got out of bed before 11 a.m., giving him plenty of time to sit in bed and develop useful theories.