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Adams, (John) Frank (1930–1989), mathematician, was born on 5 November 1930 in Woolwich, London, the elder son (there were no daughters) of William Frank Adams, civil engineer, and his wife, Jean Mary Baines, biologist, both of London. He was educated at Bedford School...

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Adelstein, Abraham Manie [Abe] (1916–1992), occupational physician and medical statistician, was born on 28 March 1916 at Trichard, eastern Transvaal, South Africa, the fourth of five children (four boys and one girl) of Nathan Adelstein, miller in Trichard, and Rosie Cohen, both Jewish immigrants from ...

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Adrain, Robert (1775–1843), mathematician and university teacher, was born on 30 September 1775 in Carrickfergus, Ireland, the eldest of five children. His father, a teacher and maker of mathematical instruments, had emigrated from France, and his mother was of Scottish descent. Both of ...

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Alexander Craig Aitken (1895–1967) by Walter Stoneman, 1945 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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J. M. Whittaker

revised by Anita McConnell

Aitken, Alexander Craig (1895–1967), mathematician, was born at Dunedin, New Zealand, on 1 April 1895, the eldest of the seven children of William Aitken and his wife, Elizabeth Towers. His grandfather Alexander Aitken had emigrated from Lanarkshire to Otago in 1868 and farmed in the neighbourhood of ...

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Alexander, (Conel) Hugh O'Donel (1909–1974), chess player and cryptanalyst, was born in Cork on 19 April 1909, the eldest of four children of Conel William Long Alexander (1879–1920), professor of engineering at University College, Cork, and his wife, Hilda Barbara Bennett (1881–1964), of ...

Article

Allen, Thomas (1540?–1632), mathematician and antiquary, was probably born on 21 December 1540 (though some sources suggest 1542) at Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, the son of William Allen. His family were local gentry who are known to have had Roman Catholic connections. Two of his four uncles also lived at ...

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Allestree, Richard (b. before 1582, d. c. 1643), almanac maker and mathematician, was a younger son of William Allestree (b. before 1520, d. 1581) and his wife, Ellen. The family lived at Alvaston and Derby. Richard was an uncle of the famous royalist divine ...

Article

Robert Steele

revised by Anita McConnell

Allman, George Johnston (1824–1904), mathematician, was born on 28 September 1824 at Dublin. He was a younger son of William Allman MD (1776–1846), professor of botany in Trinity College, Dublin, and his wife, Anne (d. 1831). He entered Trinity College and after a distinguished career graduated in 1844 as senior moderator and gold medallist in mathematics with ...

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A. M. Clerke

revised by Anita McConnell

Anderson, Alexander (b. 1581/2?, d. after 1621), mathematician, was the son of Gilbert Anderson (d. 1598), merchant, and great-uncle of the renowned mathematician James Gregory (1638–1675). His date of birth is assumed from an engraving of 1617 which depicts him as aged thirty-five. ...

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A. M. Clerke

revised by Ruth Wallis

Anderson, George (fl. 1731–1740), mathematician, is first known from three answers and a question in the Ladies' Diary for 1731, and three more answers in 1732. He next appears writing eight letters (1736–40) to William Jones FRS (1675–1749). Together they show his familiarity with the works of ...

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Anderson, Robert (fl. 1666–1696), mathematician, whose ancestry, date of birth, and early years are unknown, was by the 1660s a London weaver, at which time he was described by John Collins, mathematician and government clerk, as 'a reserved person … very able in algebra and solid geometry...

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Andrews, William (1634/5–1712/13), astrologer and teacher of mathematics, was a well-known compiler of almanacs. He spent his adult life in Essex, at Ashdown (1656), Saffron Walden (by 1660), and nearby Radwinter (from 1668), but it is not known whether he married. He studied astrology from about 1652 and composed his first almanac, for 1655, at the age of nineteen; a new edition followed every year until his death. Though he included political prophecies, he avoided controversy by taking a firmly patriotic line, predicting disasters for ...

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Argyle, Jesse William (1859–1924), social investigator and statistician, was born at 7 Argyle Road, Mile End, London, on 4 September 1859, the elder of two sons of Jesse Smith Argyle (1834/5–1866), a grocer's travelling salesman, and his wife, Martha Annie, née Mattocks. After their father's death ...

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Atkinson, Henry (1781–1829), mathematician and astronomer, was born on 28 June 1781 at West Harle, Northumberland, the son of Cuthbert Atkinson, a schoolmaster, and his wife, Elizabeth. He was educated by his father, who ran a number of schools in small towns in ...

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Atwood, George (bap. 1745, d. 1807), mathematician, was baptized at St Clement Danes, Westminster, London, on 15 October 1745, the son of Thomas Atwood, the parish curate, and his wife, Isabella Sells of Inglesham, Wiltshire. He was apparently the eldest son, with at least two younger brothers: ...

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Charles Babbage (1791–1871) by Antoine Claudet, c. 1847–51 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Babbage, Charles (1791–1871), mathematician and computer pioneer, was the first son born to Benjamin Babbage (d. 1827), a well-to-do London banker, and Elizabeth (Betsy, Betty) Plumleigh Teape (d. 1844). Confusion has surrounded both the year and place of Babbage's birth. This confusion is not an invention of modern historiography but dates back to the last century since when ...

Article

R. E. Anderson

revised by Anita McConnell

Babington, John (bap. 1604, d. after 1635), soldier and mathematician, was baptized on 21 August 1604 at St Nicholas Acon in the City of London, the son of John Babington and his wife, Dorothie Rosse. No details of his life are known beyond those disclosed in his book ...

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T. F. Henderson

revised by H. K. Higton

Bailey, John (bap. 1751, d. 1819), mathematician and land surveyor, was born at Blades Field, near Bowes, Yorkshire, and baptized there on 11 July 1751, the son of William Bailey. At an early age he showed strong artistic tendencies, and while employed as tutor to the children of his uncle, ...