Mathematician:John Venn

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British mathematician, also an ordained priest, who was active particularly in the fields of probability, statistics, set theory and logic.

Best known for his invention of the Venn diagram.

Later in his career he turned his attention to history.

Invented a machine for bowling cricket balls, which, by all accounts, was good enough to give the visiting Australian cricket team serious trouble when they visited in $1909$.




  • Born: 4 August 1834 in Hull, Yorkshire, England
  • Died: 4 April 1923 in Cambridge, England

Theorems and Definitions

Definitions of concepts named for John Venn can be found here.


  • 1866: Logic of Chance (the first dissertation on the frequency theory of probability)
  • 1881: Symbolic Logic (in which the Venn diagram first appeared)
  • 1889: The Principles of Empirical Logic
  • 1897: The Biographical History of Gonville and Caius College 1349-1897
  • 1904: The annals of a clerical family
  • 1907: Early Collegiate Life
  • 1922: Alumni Cantabrigienses, Volume 1 (History of Cambridge University)