Person: Sharp, Abraham
Abraham Sharp was an English mathematician who worked with Flamsteed. He calculated $\pi$ to 72 places.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- However, there is good reason from Sharp's own writing to believe that this inscription is wrong and the he was indeed born shortly before he was baptised.
- His parents were John Sharp of Little Horton, and his wife, Mary Clarkson of Bradford.
- John Sharp was quite well off.
- Being fairly wealthy, his parents were able to give Abraham, and all their other sons, a good education.
- The first formal education which Abraham received was in the village school in Little Horton, then he attended Bradford grammar school.
- We know nothing further of Sharp until 1684 by which time he was living in London and using the Hen and Chickens coffee house in the Strand as a mailing address.
- From November 1690 Sharp taught mathematics as the resident mathematician of William Court at the Mariner and Anchor on Little Tower Hill in London.
- After 1702 Sharp corresponded with Flamsteed and almost all of the correspondence has survived.
- Subjects discussed by Sharp in his letters include mathematical and astronomical books, astronomical calculations, the aurora borealis, other observations, instruments, and the printing of Flamsteed's works.
- the ingenious and unwearied Mr Abraham Sharp, with his Table of Logarithms to above fifty figures ...
- Sharp claimed that his paper had been read by Halley who then used his methods and claimed them as his own.
- In 1717 Sharp published Geometry Improved.
- Sharp's papers were lost in a fire so unfortunately further details of his mathematical work will never be known.
- Sharp would have liked to have trained someone to use the collection of instruments which he had built up.
- In Bradford Cathedral there is a tablet commemorating Sharp.
Born 1653, Little Horton, near Bradford, Yorkshire, England. Died 18 July 1742, Little Horton, near Bradford, Yorkshire, England.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Astronomy, Origin England, Special Numbers And Numerals
Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive