Person: Fincke, Thomas
Thomas Fincke was a Danish doctor who wrote a textbook on geometry.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
 His parents, Raadmand Jacob Fincke and Anna thor Smede (or Thorsmede), came from the most respected families in Flensburg.
 Thomas attended a newly founded Lutheran Latin school in Flensburg from 1570 to 1577 when he was 16 years old.
 As a consequence, mathematics was one of the major subjects that Fincke studied.
 After leaving the Academy, Fincke enrolled at the University of Heidelberg in February 1582 and then, after a semester there, he enrolled for a semester at the University of Leipzig in the summer of 1582.
 Having published such an important mathematical work, one might assume that Fincke would go on to still greater mathematical achievements.
 Fincke made a big impression in Padua and, although he was only twentysix years old when he left, his achievements in founding a medical library were so highly appreciated that a marble pillar with inscribed commemorative plaque was put in the local church 'Santa Sofia' in his honour.
 Certainly Fincke did not return directly to Flensburg from Basel but rather made further study trips through Austria, Hungary and Bohemia before settling into a medical practise in his home town of Flensburg.
 Around the time of his marriage, Fincke received an offer of the Chair of Mathematics at the University of Copenhagen from Chancellor Niels Kaas, one of Fincke's patrons.
 On the 28 July 1602, Peder Sørensen, the professor of medicine at Copenhagen died and in April of the following year Fincke was appointed to fill this chair.
 The book introduces the terms 'tangents' and 'secants' and Fincke devised new formulae such as the law of tangents.
 The abbreviations Fincke used for the standard trigonometric functions mark the beginning of the notation which is current today.
 Fincke's book was recommended by Clavius, Napier and Pitiscus all of whom adopted much from it.
 Their eldest son, Jacob Fincke (15921663), went on to become Professor of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Copenhagen.
Born 6 January 1561, Flensburg, Schleswig (now Germany). Died 24 April 1656, Copenhagen, Denmark.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Analysis, Astronomy, Geometry, Origin Germany
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References
Adapted from other CC BYSA 4.0 Sources:
 O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive