Mathematician:Mathematicians/Sorted By Nation/Britain

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For more comprehensive information on the lives and works of mathematicians through the ages, see the MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, created by John J. O'Connor and Edmund F. Robertson.

The army of those who have made at least one definite contribution to mathematics as we know it soon becomes a mob as we look back over history; 6,000 or 8,000 names press forward for some word from us to preserve them from oblivion, and once the bolder leaders have been recognised it becomes largely a matter of arbitrary, illogical legislation to judge who of the clamouring multitude shall be permitted to survive and who be condemned to be forgotten.[1]



1101 – 1500

Robert of Chester (12th century )

English Arabist of the $12$th century who translated several books from Arabic to Latin.

Hence appears to be the first to introduce the Arabic numerals to Europe.

His most immediate legacy was his use of the word sine (as sinus, meaning bay or fold) for the word that in the original Indian meant bow or chord.

Some credit Gerard of Cremona for this, but Gerard now appears to have followed Robert.
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John of Holywood (c. 1195 – 1256)

English mathematician and monk, also (perhaps better) known as Johannes de Sacrobosco (his name translated into Italian), best known for his works concerning astronomy and the calendar.

Proposed an amendment to the Julian calendar (at the time ten days adrift). His suggestions were influential on Christopher Clavius's own work to develop the Gregorian calendar.
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William of Ockham (c. 1288 – 1347 or 1348)

English philosopher-monk whose main contribution towards philosophical thought was what is now known as Occam's Razor.

Also wrote down (in words) what are now known as De Morgan's laws.
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1501 – 1600

Thomas Harriot (c. 1560 – 1621)

English astronomer, mathematician, ethnographer and translator.

His name is variously reported as Harriott, Hariot, or Heriot.

Was at one point credited with the invention of $>$ and $<$ for greater than and less than, but it appears that they were in fact invented by somebody else.
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John Blagrave (c. 1561 – 1611)

English mathematician whose main work was in the field of horology.

Designed and made instruments, including sundials and astrolabes.
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Edward Wright (1561 – 1615)

English mathematician noted for his contributions to the science of cartography.
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Henry Briggs (1561 – 1630)

English mathematician most famous for converting natural (Napierian) logarithms into Briggsian (common) logarithms.
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William Oughtred (1574 – 1660)

English mathematician credited with the invention of the slide rule.

Also credited with inventing a circular version although precedence for this was disputed with his student Richard Delamain.

Experimented with notations in his famously compact writings, inventing some new symbology which stuck, notably $\times$, $\sin$ and $\cos$.
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Edmund Gunter (1581 – 1626)

British clergyman, mathematician, geometer and astronomer.

Best remembered for his contributions toward land surveying: Gunter's chain, the Gunter's quadrant and the Gunter's scale.

Credited with the first ever publication, in $1620$, of logarithms of trigonometric functions.

Invented the terms cosine and cotangent.
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Thomas Hobbes (1588 – 1679)

English thinker better known for being an astute political philosopher than as a mathematician.

Best known in mathematical circles for believing that he had solved the problem of Squaring the Circle.

Generally considered a mathematical ignoramus, his influence was perhaps of greater importance than generally considered, if only because of the stimulating controversy and discussion he raised.
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Richard Delamain (1600 – 1644)

English mathematician credited with the invention of a circular slide rule although precedence for this was disputed with his tutor William Oughtred.

At one time was mathematics tutor to Charles I of England.
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1601 – 1700

John Pell (1611 – 1685)

English mathematician and foreign diplomat most famous for what is now known as Pell's Equation.
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John Wallis (1616 – 1703)

English mathematician who made considerable contributions towards the invention of the calculus.

Credited with introducing the symbol $\infty$ for infinity.

One of the first English mathematicians to use the techniques of analytic geometry as defined by Descartes.
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William Brouncker (1620 – 1684)

William Brouncker, 2nd Viscount Brouncker was an English mathematician best known for Brouncker's Formula, an expansion for pi in the form of a generalized continued fraction.

Popularly believed to have been the first European to provide the solution to what is known as Pell's Equation, but the supposition that its name was a misattibution by Euler is disputed.

Improved on William Neile's computation of the arc length of the semicubical parabola $a y^2 = x^3$.
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John Collins (1625 – 1683)

English mathematician whose principal influence consisted of a copious correspondence with the other leading minds of his day.

Mainly worked as a teacher and an accountant, and authored some books.
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Isaac Barrow (1630 – 1677)

English Christian theologian and mathematician who had a hand in the development of calculus.

Often cited as being the discoverer of the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus.

Concentrated on the properties of the tangent.

The first to calculate the tangents of the kappa curve.

Famously stood down from his position as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics in favour of Isaac Newton.
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Christopher Michael Wren (1632 – 1723)

English mathematician, anatomist, astronomer, geometer and physicist, as well as being Britain's most famous architect.

One of the founders of the Royal Society, and was its president from $1680$ to $1682$.
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Robert Hooke (1635 – 1703)

English scientist who worked in many fields and investigated a great deal of stuff.

In the field of applied mathematics he is best known for Hooke's Law.
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William Neile (1637 – 1670)

William Neile, sometimes rendered Neil, was an English mathematician whose most important work was on the rectification of the semicubical parabola, which was an important stage in the development of calculus.
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Isaac Newton (1642 – 1727)

Hugely influential English all-rounder famous for:

and much more.
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Edmund Halley (1656 – 1742)

English astronomer, geophysicist, mathematician, meteorologist, and physicist best known for computing the orbit of Halley's Comet.

He was the second Astronomer Royal in Britain, succeeding John Flamsteed.
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Brook Taylor (1685 – 1731)

English mathematician noted for Taylor's Theorem, but he was not the only one to have been exploring it.

Also made progress in the mathematics of perspective and the foundations of projective geometry.
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John Machin (c. 1686 – 1751)

English professor of astronomy, best known for developing a quickly converging series for $\pi$ (pi) in $1706$ and using it to compute $\pi$ to $100$ decimal places.
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1701 – 1800

Thomas Bayes (1702 – 1761)

The Rev. Thomas Bayes was a mathematician and Presbyterian minister.

Most famous for his formulation of what is now known as Bayes' Theorem.
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Thomas Simpson (1710 – 1761)

British mathematician and inventor.

Eponym of Simpson's Rule to approximate definite integrals.
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William Ludlam (c. 1717 – 1788)

English mathematician and writer on theology who was a fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge.

Credited with first formulating what is now known as Playfair's Axiom.
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Edward Waring (c. 1736 – 1798)

English mathematician mainly active in the fields of number theory and analysis.

Most famous for posing what are now called:

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John Wilson (1741 – 1793)

English mathematician remembered mainly for Wilson's Theorem, which was in fact published by Edward Waring and came originally from Ibn al-Haytham ("Alhazen"). It was in fact proved by Lagrange in $1793$.
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John Farey (1766 – 1826)

British geologist, known for defining the Farey Sequence.
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Peter Barlow (1776 – 1862)

English mathematician and physicist, famous for his New Mathematical Tables, which would be later republished and known as Barlow's Tables and become a standard reference work.

Also (disappointingly) notable for his prediction in 1811 that no prime greater than $2^{31} - 1$ would ever be discovered.

Also noted for his work on magnetism and strength of materials.
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Charles Babbage (1791 – 1871)

English mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer.

Originated, together with Ada Lovelace, the concept of a programmable computer.
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George Green (1793 – 1841)

Famously (and mystifyingly) self-taught English mathematical physicist best known for Green's Theorem.

Did pioneering work on electromagnetism.
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William Whewell (1794 – 1866)

English polymath, scientist, Anglican priest, philosopher, theologian, and historian of science.

Originator of many new scientific terms, including "ion," "cathode," "Eocene," "Miocene," "physicist," and "scientist."
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1801 – 1900

George Biddell Airy (1801 – 1891)

English mathematician and astronomer

Work on planetary orbits.

Measured the mean density of the Earth.

Devised a method of solution of two-dimensional problems in solid mechanics.

Established Greenwich as the location of the prime meridian.
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William Shanks (1812 – 1882)

English amateur mathematician famous for using Machin's Formula for Pi to calculate $\pi$ (pi) to $707$ places in $1873$, a result which was correct only up to the $527$th place.

The error was highlighted in $1944$ by D.F. Ferguson, using a mechanical calculator.

Shanks' approximation was the longest expansion of $\pi$ until the advent of the electronic digital computer about one century later.

Shanks also calculated Euler's number $e$ and the Euler-Mascheroni constant $\gamma$ to many decimal places.

Also published a table of primes up to $60 \ 000$ and found the natural logarithms of $2$, $3$, $5$ and $10$ to $137$ places.

Also calculated the exact powers of $2$ up to $2^{721}$.
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James Joseph Sylvester (1814 – 1897)

English mathematician who contributed to matrix theory, invariant theory, number theory, partition theory and combinatorics.

First coined the word matrix.

Contributed notably to the growth of mathematics in the USA.

Tutor of Florence Nightingale.
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Augusta Ada Lovelace (1815 – 1852)

English mathematician and writer, chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine.

Creator of the first algorithm intended to be carried out by a machine.

Hence she is often regarded as the first computer programmer.
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Andrew Hollingworth Frost (1819 – 1907)

English mathematician best known for his discovery of an order $7$ perfect magic cube, accomplished in $1866$.
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Florence Nightingale (1820 – 1910)

One of the most famous people in British history, she reformed the system of care in military field hospitals.

However, she was also a gifted mathematician, and contributed significantly to the field of statistics.
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Isaac Todhunter (1820 – 1884)

English mathematician best known nowadays for his books on mathematics and its history.
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Arthur Cayley (1821 – 1895)

English mathematician most famous for his work in group theory and graph theory.

Also one of the pioneers of matrix algebra, and hence sometimes cited as one of the "fathers" of matrix theory.
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Norman Macleod Ferrers (1829 – 1903)

English mathematician and university administrator, best known nowadays for Ferrers diagrams.
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Francis Guthrie (1831 – 1899)

English-born, later South African, mathematician and botanist, who is best known in the field of mathematics for posing the Four Color Theorem in $1852$.
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Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832 – 1898)

Better known as Lewis Carroll, Charles Dodgson was a logician, and also an Anglican priest and author.

He is best known nowadays for his Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, not (on the surface) works of mathematics.

His actual mathematical works were idiosyncratic, often focused on making mathematical concepts (in particular, logical syllogisms) accessible to children.

One of the first to treat logical elements with symbols, thus contributing to the birth of symbolic logic.
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John Venn (1834 – 1923)

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.
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William Stanley Jevons (1835 – 1882)

English economist and logician.

Pioneered the mathematical approach to the study of economics.

Refined and developed George Boole's algebra of classes.
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Edwin Abbott Abbott (1838 – 1926)

English mathematician and philosopher whose claim to mathematical immortality lies in his speculative fictional work Flatland: a Romance of Many Dimensions.
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Allan Joseph Champneys Cunningham (1842 – 1928)

English military man who studied number theory after leaving the army.

Used his expertise to find factors in numbers such as Mersenne numbers and Fermat numbers.
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John William Strutt (1842 – 1919)

John William Strutt, $3$rd Baron Rayleigh, was an English physicist.

Won the $1904$ Nobel Prize in Physics with William Ramsay for the discovery of argon.

Discovered the phenomenon now called Rayleigh Scattering, which explains why the sky is blue.

Predicted the existence of Rayleigh waves.
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William Kingdon Clifford (1845 – 1879)

English mathematician and philosopher best known for his work on what is now known as Clifford algebra.

Did much of the intellectual groundwork for the General Theory of Relativity.

Died prematurely as a result of tuberculosis probably brought on through overwork.
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Alfred Bray Kempe (1849 – 1922)

English mathematician best known for his work on linkages and the Four Color Theorem.
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Oliver Heaviside (1850 – 1925)

Largely self-taught English mathematician and physicist who was one of the pioneers in the field of electrical engineering.

Invented a considerable amount of the mathematics and terminology used in electromagnetism.

Significantly developed the theory of Operational Calculus, which are still used in modern-day mathematics in the context of Laplace transforms.
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Walter William Rouse Ball (1850 – 1925)

English mathematician, lawyer, and amateur magician.

Best known for his accounts of the history of mathematics.
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Silvanus Phillips Thompson (1851 – 1916)

English professor of physics, known for his work as an electrical engineer and as an author.

Author of the $1910$ text Calculus Made Easy, which teaches the fundamentals of infinitesimal calculus, and is still in print.
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William Burnside (1852 – 1927)

English mathematician who was one of the earliest researchers in group theory.
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Hertha Marks Ayrton (1854 – 1923)

British engineer, mathematician, physicist, and inventor.

Awarded the Hughes Medal by the Royal Society for her work on electric arcs and ripples in sand and water.
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John Edward Aloysius Steggall (1855 – 1935)

British mathematician and educator whose research interests were in the theory of numbers and in kinematical geometry.
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Karl Pearson (1857 – 1936)

Influential English mathematician and biometrician.

Credited with establishing the discipline of mathematical statistics.

Contributed significantly to the field of biometrics, meteorology, theories of social Darwinism and eugenics.
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Henry Ernest Dudeney (1857 – 1930)

English author and mathematician who specialised in logic puzzles and mathematical games.

Considered one of Britain's foremost creators of mathematical puzzles.
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Alfred North Whitehead (1861 – 1947)

English mathematician who also studied philosophy.

Best known for his co-authorship with Bertrand Arthur William Russell of Principia Mathematica, published from 1910.
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Percy John Heawood (1861 – 1955)

English mathematician who devoted his working life to the Four Color Theorem.

In $1890$, exposed a flaw in Alfred Bray Kempe's proof, that had been considered as valid for $11$ years.

He never actually proved the theorem, which remained open until it was finally proved in $1976$ by Kenneth Ira Appel and Wolfgang Haken.
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Thomas Little Heath (1861 – 1940)

English Civil servant who is best known for his scholarly translations of the Greek classics of mathematics into English.
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Leonard James Rogers (1862 – 1933)

English mathematician famous for the Rogers-Ramanujan Identities and for proving a special case of Hölder's inequality.
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Herbert William Richmond (1863 – 1948)

English mathematician who did considerable work in the field of algebraic geometry.

Most famous now for his construction of the regular $17$-gon.

Worked on ballistics during World War I, the results of which influenced continuing work on the subject in World War II.
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William Henry Young (1863 – 1942)

English mathematician, who worked on measure theory, Fourier series, differential calculus amongst other fields.

Made brilliant and long-lasting contributions to the study of functions of several complex variables.
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George Godfrey Berry (1866 – 1930)

Presumably English scholar, about whom little is known, who gave his name to the Berry Paradox.

His understanding of logic and the concepts underpinning mathematical logic was a strong influence on Bertrand Russell.
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Thomas John I'Anson Bromwich (1875 – 1929)

English all-rounder mathematician who committed suicide from mental illness supposedly brought on by overwork.
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Godfrey Harold Hardy (1877 – 1947)

English mathematician noted for his work in number theory and analysis.

Also famous for his discovery and mentorship of Srīnivāsa Aiyangār Rāmānujan.

Non-mathematicians remember him mainly for his book A Mathematician's Apology.
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James Hopwood Jeans (1877 – 1946)

Sir James Hopwood Jeans was an English physicist, astronomer and mathematician.
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Philip Edward Bertrand Jourdain (1879 – 1919)

British logician whose work was in the fields of mathematical logic and the foundations of set theory.

He also applied his results in logic to the field of physics.
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John Edensor Littlewood (1885 – 1977)

British mathematician best known for his collaborations with Godfrey Harold Hardy.
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Herbert Westren Turnbull (1885 – 1961)

English mathematician best known now for his writings on the history of mathematics.

Did considerably work on the theory of invariants.
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George Neville Watson (1886 – 1965)

English mathematician, who applied complex analysis to the theory of special functions.
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Charles Galton Darwin (1887 – 1962)

English physicist.

Served as director of the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) during the Second World War
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Sydney Chapman (1888 – 1970)

English mathematician whose most noted mathematical accomplishments were in the field of stochastic processes.

Worked out the photochemical mechanisms that give rise to the ozone layer.
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Ronald Aylmer Fisher (1890 – 1962)

English statistician, evolutionary biologist, mathematician, geneticist, and eugenicist.
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Edward Lindsay Ince (1891 – 1941)

English mathematician who worked mainly in the field of differential equations.
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Leigh Mercer (1893 – 1977)

British recreational mathematician and wordplay expert best known for coining the palindrome: A man, a plan, a canal -- Panama!

Also the inventor of several limericks.
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Bertram Martin Wilson (1896 – 1935)

English mathematician, remembered primarily as a co-editor, along with G.H. Hardy and P.V. Seshu Aiyar, of the Collected Papers of Srinivasa Ramanujan.
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Charles Fox (1897 – 1977)

English mathematician who introduced the Fox $H$-Function.
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Douglas Rayner Hartree (1897 – 1958)

English mathematician and physicist most famous for the development of numerical analysis and its application to the Hartree-Fock equations of atomic physics.

Constructed a differential analyser using Meccano.
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Edward Charles Titchmarsh (1899 – 1963)

British mathematician known for his work in analytic number theory, Fourier analysis and other parts of mathematical analysis.
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John Charles Burkill (1900 – 1983)

British mathematician whose main work was in analysis.

Also renowned for the quality of his teaching books.
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Albert Edward Ingham (1900 – 1967)

British mathematician best known for his work in analytic number theory.
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1901 – 1930

Edward Thomas Copson (1901 – 1980)

British mathematician best known for his textbooks in various fields.
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Leonard Henry Caleb Tippett (1902 – 1985)

English statistician, professionally known as L.H.C. Tippett or, occasionally, L.C. Tippett, who pioneered extreme value theory.
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Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac (1902 – 1984)

English theoretical physicist who made fundamental contributions to the early development of both quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics.
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Frank Plumpton Ramsey (1903 – 1930)

British mathematican most famous for founding the field of what is now called Ramsey Theory.
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Philip Hall (1904 – 1982)

English mathematician active in the field of group theory.
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Edward Maitland Wright (1906 – 2005)

Sir Edward Maitland Wright was an English mathematician best known for co-authoring the 1938 work An Introduction to the Theory of Numbers, with G.H. Hardy.
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Daniel Edwin Rutherford (1906 – 1966)

British mathematician, known as Dan Rutherford, who mainly worked on abstract algebra, vector analysis and fluid mechanics, among various others.
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Raymond Edward Alan Christopher Paley (1907 – 1933)

English mathematician who worked mainly on of real-variable techniques in complex analysis.
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Harold Scott MacDonald Coxeter (1907 – 2003)

British-born Canadian mathematician who is best known for his work in geometry.
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Sarvadaman D.S. Chowla (1907 – 1995)

British-born Indian American mathematician who worked mainly in number theory.
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Maurice George Kendall (1907 – 1983)

English mathematician who made significant contributions to statistics.
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Harold Davenport (1907 – 1969)

English mathematician who worked mainly in number theory.
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Florence Nightingale David (1909 – 1993)

English mathematician noted for her work in statistics.
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Charles Alfred Coulson (1910 – 1974)

British mathematician whose main area of research was in applications to molecular physical chemistry.

Published widely in the field of applied mathematics.
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Walter Warwick Sawyer (1911 – 2008)

British mathematician best known for the books he wrote, especially Mathematician's Delight and Prelude to Mathematics.
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Alan Mathison Turing (1912 – 1954)

English mathematician who is often considered to be the "father of modern computer science".

Famous for his role in cracking the Enigma cipher in World War II, his conception of the Turing machine and the idea of the Turing test.
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David Gawen Champernowne (1912 – 2000)

English economist and mathematician, famous for proving that the number now known as the Champernowne constant is normal.
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Anthony Henry Basson (1916 – 2004)

English mathematician specialising in symbolic logic.
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Richard Kenneth Guy (b. 1916 )

English mathematician active in the fields of game theory, number theory and graph theory.
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Graham Higman (1917 – 2008)

English mathematician active in the field of group theory.
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William Thomas Tutte (1917 – 2002)

English codebreaker and mathematician working on the foundations of graph theory and matroid theory.

Made a fundamental breakthrough in cryptanalysis of the Lorenz cipher, which contributed significantly to the defeat of Germany in the Second World War.
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Geoffrey Thomas Kneebone (1918 – 2003)

British mathematician who worked in geometry, set theory and mathematical logic.

Best known for his collaborative writings with John Greenlees Semple.
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Francis John Anscombe (1918 – 2001)

English statistician best known for emphasising the importance of randomisation.
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Thomas James Willmore (1919 – 2005)

British mathematician best known for his work on differential geometry.
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John Maynard Smith (1920 – 2004)

English theoretical evolutionary biologist and geneticist.

Originally an aeronautical engineer during the Second World War.

Instrumental in the application of game theory to evolution.
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Claude Ambrose Rogers (1920 – 2005)

English mathematician who worked in analysis and geometry.
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Anthony Philip French (b. 1920 )

English professor of physics whose main interest is undergraduate physics education.
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George Spencer-Brown (b. 1923 )

British mathematician, philosopher and crackpot best known for his book Laws of Form.

Made claims to the proofs of some famous hypotheses, but these were never validated.
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David Roxbee Cox (b. 1924 )

British mathematician working mainly in the field of statistics.
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John C. Shepherdson (b. 1926 )

Professor emeritus at the University of Bristol, England.

Co-designer (with Howard E. Sturgis) of the Unlimited Register Machine, a refinement of the Turing machine.
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John Leech (1926 – 1992)

English mathematician working in number theory, geometry and combinatorial group theory.

Discovered the $3$rd Hardy-Ramanujan number $\operatorname{Ta} \left({3}\right)$ in $1957$.

Best known for his discovery of the Leech lattice in $1965$.
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Edward McWilliam Patterson (1926 – 2013)

English mathematician whose research included the study of recurrent tensor fields, ring theory and Lie algebras.
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Evelyn Martin Lansdowne Beale (1928 – 1985)

English applied mathematician and statistician who was one of the pioneers of mathematical programming.
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Ian Grant Macdonald (b. 1928 )

English mathematician known for his contributions to symmetric functions, special functions, Lie algebra theory and other aspects of algebraic combinatorics.
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Frank Tapson (b. 1929 )

English mathematician, teacher and game enthusiast who published much material useful for teaching.

Also the creator of several online educational resources.
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Michael Francis Atiyah (b. 1929 )

English mathematician specialising in geometry.
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Anthony James Merrill Spencer (1929 – 2008)

English mathematician working mainly in the field of material mechanics.
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Edward John Lemmon (1930 – 1966)

Usually known as John Lemmon. Best known as a writer on logic, particularly modal logic.
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1931 and on

Roger Penrose (b. 1931 )

British physicist and mathematician renowned for his work in cosmology.

The creator of the Penrose tiles.
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Malcolm E. Lines (b. 1936 )

British mathematician and metallurgist known for his popular books on mathematics.
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David Herbert Fowler (1937 – 2004)

British historian of mathematics whose thesis concerned the study of ratios as used in ancient Greece before the work of Eudoxus of Cnidus.
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John Horton Conway (b. 1937 )

British-born mathematician noted for his work in group theory and recreational mathematics.

Inventor of The Game of Life.
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Brian Hartley (1939 – 1994)

British mathematician mainly noted for his work in group theory.

Best remembered by undergraduates for his much-cited textbook Rings, Modules and Linear Algebra (1970) which he cowrote with Trevor Hawkes.

A student of Philip Hall, and a tutor of Ian Stewart.
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Alan Baker (b. 1939 )

British mathematician whose main area of work has been in finding effective methods for number theory.
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David Wells (b. 1940 )

British populist of mathematics best known for his various "curious and interesting" dictionaries.
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Kenneth George Binmore (b. 1940 )

British mathematician, economist, and game theorist.

Awarded CBE in 2001 for his contributions to game theory and his role in 3G telecommunications.
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Peter Michael Neumann (b. 1940 )

British mathematician working mainly in the field of group theory.

Famous for solving Alhazen's Problem in 1997.

Son of Bernhard Hermann Neumann and Hanna Neumann.
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John M. Pollard (b. 1941 )

British mathematician who has invented algorithms for the factorization of large numbers and for the calculation of discrete logarithms.
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David Orme Tall (b. 1941 )

British mathematician mainly working in the field of educational psychology.

Also known for the books he has co-written with Ian Stewart.
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Stephen William Hawking (b. 1942 )

British mathematician, physicist and cosmologist best known for his works of popular science.
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Robin James Wilson (b. 1943 )

British mathematician whose academic interests lie in graph theory, particularly in colouring problems, e.g. the four colour problem, and algebraic properties of graphs.
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Robert Charles Vaughan (b. 1945 )

Bob Vaughan is a British mathematician whose main work is in analytic number theory.
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Timothy Poston (b. 1945 )

British mathematician and physicist best known for work in catastrophe theory.

Also the scientific and mathematical advisor to Genesis P-Orridge.
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John J. O'Connor (b. 1945 )

English-born mathematician who has worked in the fields of topology and computational algebra.

He is one of the owners of the MacTutor History of Mathematics archive along with Edmund F. Robertson.
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Ian Nicholas Stewart (b. 1945 )

English mathematician who has made considerable contributions to the field of catastrophe theory.

He is more famous, however, as a popular writer and publicist of mathematics.

As one of the contributors to the Science of Discworld series, he was created an honorary Wizard of Unseen University.
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Ian Fraser Kilmister (1945 – 2015)

English rock musician better known as Lemmy.

Notable for writing the only song in rock music with the word parallelogram in its lyrics.
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David John Acheson (b. 1946 )

English mathematician best known for his book 1089 and all that.
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Keith J. Devlin (b. 1947 )

English author and publicist of mathematics.
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Geoffrey Richard Grimmett (b. 1950 )

English mathematician best known for his work in probability theory.
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Galen John Strawson (b. 1952 )

British analytic philosopher and literary critic working mainly on philosophy of mind and metaphysics, including free will, panpsychism, the mind-body problem, and the self.

Also writes on John Locke, David Hume, Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Nietzsche.
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Andrew John Wiles (b. 1953 )

English mathematician famous for proving Fermat's Last Theorem, which he completed in 1994.
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Robert Arnott Wilson (b. 1958 )

English mathematician best known for his work on classifying the maximal subgroups of finite simple groups and for the work in the Monster group.
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Kate Bush (b. 1958 )

English musician and composer whose contribution to mathematics was to compose a piece called $\pi$ which contains (inaccurately) the first 150 or so digits of its decimal expansion.
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Stephen Wolfram (b. 1959 )

English mathematician best known for being the name behind Mathematica.

Much of his work has been in the field of cellular automata.
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Matt Westwood (b. 1960 )

British amateur mathematician best known for the discovery of Westwood's Puzzle.

One of the more tedious practitioners of the modern tendency towards Bourbakism.
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Andrew James Granville (b. 1962 )

British professor of mathematics working mainly in number theory.
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Marcus du Sautoy (b. 1965 )

Marcus Peter Francis du Sautoy is a British professor of mathematics best known for his authorship of popular mathematical works.

Also a TV presenter.
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Robert Recorde (1510 – 1558)

Welsh physician and mathematician.

Best known for inventing the equals sign. This was just part of his contribution towards the development and systematization of mathematical notation.
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Bertrand Arthur William Russell (1872 – 1970)

Bertrand Russell, also known as the 3rd Earl Russell, was a British philosopher, mathematician and logician.

Best known for his co-authorship with Alfred North Whitehead of Principia Mathematica, published from 1910.
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Neil James Alexander Sloane (b. 1939 )

British mathematician whose major contributions are in the fields of combinatorics, error-correcting codes, and sphere packing.

Best known for being the creator and maintainer of the On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences (OEIS).
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Carol Jean Vorderman (b. 1960 )

British mathematically literate TV presenter best known for having presented Countdown for 26 years.

Has intensive involvement in the British government's initiative to improve the mathematical literacy of school students. Whether you consider this as a point in her favour or against her depends on how cynically you view the government of the United Kingdom. It is worth pointing out that the website presented in her name has had a mixed reception.

A 3rd-class degree from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge is known as a Vorderman in her honour.
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John Napier (1550 – 1617)

Scots mathematician famous for his development of natural logarithms.
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James Gregory (1638 – 1675)

Scottish mathematician and astronomer best known for designing the Gregorian telescope.

Made advances in trigonometry, discovering infinite series representations for several trigonometric functions.
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David Gregory (1659 – 1708)

Scottish mathematician and astronomer.

Professor of mathematics at the University of Edinburgh, Savilian Professor of Astronomy at the University of Oxford.

Commentator on Isaac Newton's Principia.
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Robert Simson (1687 – 1768)

Scots mathematician notable for having produced a translation of Euclid's The Elements which was long used as the standard text.
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James Stirling (1692 – 1770)

Scottish mathematician best known for Stirling's Formula.

One of the first to study what is now known as the Gamma function.
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Colin Maclaurin (1698 – 1746)

Held the record for almost 300 years as the youngest professor in history.

Worked extensively on elliptic functions.

Best known nowadays for Maclaurin Series.
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Matthew Stewart (1717 – 1785)

Scottish mathematician who made significant contributions to the fields of geometry and astronomy.
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John Playfair (1748 – 1819)

Scots mathematician and scientific philosopher who was an early proponent of the philosophical position that physical laws are the same throughout the universe and do not change with time.

Also credited with Playfair's axiom, an alternative (and easier to digest) form of Euclid's Fifth Postulate, although he himself did not originate it.
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James Clerk Maxwell (1831 – 1879)

Scottish scientist in the field of mathematical physics.

Most noted for his theory of electromagnetic radiation.

Maxwell's equations for electromagnetism have been called the "second great unification in physics" after the first one realised by Isaac Newton.
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William Carmichael McIntosh (1838 – 1931)

Scottish physician and marine zoologist.

Served as president of the Ray Society, and as vice-president of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
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Andrew Gray (1847 – 1925)

Scots mathematician and physicist who worked on electromagnetism, dynamics and Bessel functions.
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Andrew Russell Forsyth (1858 – 1942)

Scottish mathematician best known as the author of treatises.
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Robert John Tainsh Bell (1876 – 1963)

Scottish mathematician noted for his work in solid geometry.
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James Colquhoun Irvine (1877 – 1952)

Scottish organic chemist.

Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews from $1921$ until his death.

Worked on the application of methylation techniques to carbohydrates.

Isolated the first methylated sugars, trimethyl and tetramethyl glucose.
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Duncan MacLaren Young Sommerville (1879 – 1934)

Scots mathematician best known for his work in geometry, including non-Euclidean.

A founder, and first secretary, of the New Zealand Astronomical Society.
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Joseph Henry Maclagan Wedderburn (1882 – 1948)

Scottish mathematician most famous for his work in abstract algebra.
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Eric Temple Bell (1883 – 1960)

Scottish mathematician now more famous for his popular work on the history of mathematics Men of Mathematics.

Did research in number theory and analysis, and (less than successfully) worked on putting umbral calculus on a sound logical footing.

Also noted (in certain circles) for writing science fiction (under the pseudonym John Taine) and poetry.
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Thomas Murray MacRobert (1884 – 1962)

British mathematician working mainly in analysis.
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Hyman Levy (1889 – 1975)

Scottish philosopher, mathematician and political activist.

Aeronautics researcher at the National Physical Laboratory.

Published papers and books on mathematical applications pertaining to aeronautics.

Wrote about differential equations and probability.
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Robert Pollock Gillespie (1903 – 1977)

Scottish mathematician who published several important books on mathematics.
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Alexander Kirkland Cairncross (1911 – 1998)

British economist.
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Daniel Martin (1915 – 2007)

British mathematician working mainly as a teacher of calculus.
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Ian Naismith Sneddon (1919 – 2000)

British applied mathematician who is most noted for his work researching elasticity.
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Ben Noble (1922 – 2006)

British mathematician best known for his work in numerical analysis.
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James Alexander Green (1926 – 2014)

Scottish mathematician who worked in the field of representation theory.
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Iain Thomas Arthur Carpenter Adamson (1928 – 2010)

Scottish mathematician best known for his work in field theory.
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John Mackintosh Howie (1936 – 2011)

Scottish mathematician whose specialty was semigroups.
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James David McCawley (1938 – 1999)

Scots-born American linguist with a training in mathematics.

His main contribution to mathematics has been his excellent translations of mathematics textbooks into English.
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Edmund Frederick Robertson (b. 1943 )

Scots mathematician currently a Professor of Mathematics at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

He is one of the owners of the MacTutor History of Mathematics archive along with John J. O'Connor.
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Jonathan Michael Borwein (1951 – 2016)

Scottish mathematician of varied accomplishments.

A public advocate of experimental mathematics, with David Harold Bailey.
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Peter Benjamin Borwein (b. 1953 )

Scottish mathematician best known for his contribution towards the Bailey-Borwein-Plouffe Algorithm.
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Northern Ireland

William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin (1824 – 1907)

William Thomson, $1$st Baron Kelvin, was a British mathematical physicist and engineer who did important work in:

  • the mathematical analysis of electricity
  • formulation of the first and second laws of thermodynamics
  • unification of the discipline of modern physics

Received a knighthood from Queen Victoria for his work on the development of the transatlantic electric telegraph project.
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John Greenlees Semple (1904 – 1985)

British mathematician whose most important work was in algebraic geometry.
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Augustus De Morgan (1806 – 1871)

British mathematician and logician best known for De Morgan's laws.

Also introduced and made rigorous the Principle of Mathematical Induction.
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Charles Planck (1856 – 1935)

English mathematician best known for his discovery of an order $9$ perfect magic cube, accomplished in $1905$.
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Thomas Walter Bannerman Kibble (1932 – 2016)

British theoretical physicist, mainly working in quantum field theory, especially the interface between high-energy particle physics and cosmology.

Best known as one of the first to describe the Higgs mechanism, and for his research on topological defects.

From the 1950s was concerned about the nuclear arms race.

From 1970 took leading roles in promoting the social responsibility of the scientist.

Senior research investigator at the Blackett Laboratory and Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics at Imperial College London.
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Charles Antony Richard Hoare (b. 1934 )

British mathematician and computer scientist best known for devising the Quicksort algorithm.
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  1. Eric Temple Bell: Men of Mathematics, 1937, Victor Gollancz, London.