Person: Haldane, Robert
Robert Haldane was a Scottish clergyman who was appointed Regius Professor of Mathematics at St Andrews, even though he did little mathematics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Robert, their eldest son, was born in Overton (or Overtown) which is near the border between Perthshire and Stirlingshire and lies between Stirling and Dunblane.
- Robert attended school in Dunblane before matriculating at Glasgow University in 1787 at the age of fifteen.
- At the University of Glasgow, Haldane took the standard course for at this time all university students basically studied the same subjects.
- The chair had fallen vacant on the death of Nicholas Vilant on 25 May 1807 and had remained vacant until Haldane was appointed.
- We have not included Haldane in this collection of biographies of mathematicians because of his expertise in mathematics.
- Haldane was appointed to the Regius Chair in preference to several other candidates who were in a different class to him as a mathematician.
- The two most mathematically talented of the candidates who were rejected in favour of Haldane were Wallace and Ivory.
- Haldane applied for the Edinburgh Chair of Mathematics which was at that time considered the most prestigious mathematics chair in Scotland.
- In the end it came down to a straight contest between Haldane and Wallace; Wallace was appointed by 18 votes to 10.
- When Professor George Hill, principal of St Mary's College in St Andrews (the divinity College of the University), died it was Haldane who succeeded him as principal of St Mary's College and professor of theology on 21 September 1820.
- Haldane followed the custom and was appointed to the parish church.
- Haldane did not publish a single item on mathematics.
Born 27 January 1772, Overton, Lecropt, Perthshire, Scotland. Died 9 March 1854, St Andrews, Scotland.
View full biography at MacTutor
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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