Person: Vilant, Nicolas
Nicolas Vilant was Regius Professor of Mathematics at St Andrews University. He is best known for his textbooks.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- The only known likeness of Nicolas Vilant is a small drawing by his colleague Professor John Cook, who often avoided the difficulty of faces by drawing rear views - perhaps appropriately in Vilant's case.
- Vilant's The Elements of Mathematical Analysis, abridged.
- Vilant states in his preface that he "proposes hereafter to publish a complete System of the Elements of Mathematical Analysis demonstrated", but this would have to wait until "his health will allow him to arrange properly what he hath prepared on this subject." His health did not allow this, but thirteen volumes of manuscripts on this theme, and some other subjects, are preserved in St Andrews University Library.
- Vilant was an able synthesiser and summariser; perhaps the last analyst steeped in the British tradition that followed Isaac Newton, but largely ignorant of important developments elsewhere in Europe.
- Rear view of Nicolas Vilant, drawn by Professor John Cook.
Born 12 June 1737, Ferryport-on-Tay, now Tayport, Scotland. Died 25 May 1807, St Andrews, Scotland.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive