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FARKHVARSON (FARQUHARSON), Andrei Danilovich (1675-1739)

Henry (Harry) Farquharson was a Scottish mathematician and astronomer at the University of Aberdeen. At the start of the 18th century, he was employed by Peter the Great to establish and administer a mathematics and navigation school, principally for the Russian Navy. Under his guidance, and with his assistance, Tsar Peter wrote the curriculum for the school.

GREGORY, James FRS (1638-1675) The Reflecting Telescope

Born Drumoak, Aberdeenshire. A mathematician and astronomer. He made advances in trigonometry and invented the reflecting or Gregorian telescope.

KELVIN, Lord William Thomson (1824-1907) Mathematician and Physicist

In 1846 he became professor of natural philosophy at Glasgow University, a post he would hold for more than fifty years. In Glasgow he created the first physics laboratory in Britain. He formulated the two great laws of thermodynamics. Evolved theory of electrical oscillations. Propounded the “law of squares”. The important notion of absolute zero. Invented improvements in cables and galvanometers which were vital to the success of the Atlantic telegraph cables. Improvements to the mariner’s compass. Invented sounding gauges, tide predictors, etc, etc.

NAPIER, John (1550-1617) Logarithims

A mathematician, physicist and astronomer, he was born at Merchiston House in Edinburgh. He invented logarithims and introduced the decimal point.

RANKINE, William John Macquorn FRSE, FRS. (1820-1872)

Born Edinburgh, Scotland. He was a civil engineer, physicist and mathematician, and a founding contributor to the science of thermodynamics.

Scottish Mathematicians

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SOMERVILLE, Mary Fairfax (1780-1872) Scottish Science Writer & Polymath

Born at Jedburgh in the Scottish borders. She was famous for her studies into mathematics and astronomy and was nominated, along with Caroline Herschel, to be the first women members of the Royal Astronomical Society. Somerville College, Oxford, is named in her honour, along with an Arctic island, an asteroid and a lunar crater.

STEWART, Dugald (1753-1828) Philosopher & Mathematician.

Born Edinburgh, Scotland. Principally known for making the “Scottish Philosophy” predominant in early 19th century Europe.

STEWART, Matthew FRS, FRSE. (1717-1785) Mathematician


Scottish Achievement, Influence & Heritage is a work in progress