Person: Gompertz, Benjamin
Benjamin Gompertz was an English selfeducated mathematician and actuary, who is best known for his "law of mortality".
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
 Benjamin was self educated, learning mathematics by reading Newton and Maclaurin.
 Gompertz himself joined the stock exchange in 1810 and he became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1819.
 Gompertz applied the calculus to actuarial questions and he is best remembered for Gompertz's Law of Mortality.
 Hence, when death rates are plotted on a logarithmic scale, a straight line known as the Gompertz function is obtained.
 The slope of the Gompertz function line indicates the rate of actuarial ageing.
 The differences in longevity between species are the result primarily of differences in the rate of ageing and are therefore expressed in differences in slope of the Gompertz function.
 Gompertz also wrote about scientific instruments, writing Theory of astronomical instruments (1822), A new instrument called the differential sextant (1825) and On the converted pendulum (1829).
 Gompertz assisted Baily in calculating positions of stars which was eventually published as Baily's Catalogue giving the constants for 3000 fixed stars.
 Gompertz was a founder member of the Royal Statistical Society in 1834.
 It was decided at this meeting that the Society would publish a journal, the Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society, and Gompertz began work on a paper which he intended to submit for publication.
 Tables of lives and tables of stars were generated by the same qualities and both represented a rationalizing spirit which informed the social philosophy of Gompertz and his friends ...
Born 5 March 1779, London, England. Died 14 July 1865, London, England.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Astronomy, Origin England
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References
Adapted from other CC BYSA 4.0 Sources:
 Oâ€™Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive