Mathematician:Thomas Harriot

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English astronomer, mathematician, ethnographer and translator.

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

Made great advances in algebra, recognising all roots of equations even whether they be negative or complex.

Had less influence than he might have done, as no mathematical writings of his were ever published in his lifetime.

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.




  • Born: c. 1560, Oxford, England
  • Died: 2 July 1621, London, England


  • 1588: A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia
  • 1631: Artis Analyticae Praxis ad Aequationes Algebraicas Resolvendas (published posthumously)