Person: Woodhouse, Robert
Robert Woodhouse was an English mathematician and astronomer who attempted to bring continental methods into English mathematics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Robert junior attended grammar school in North Walsham.
- Woodhouse was made a fellow of the Royal Society on 16 December 1802.
- Robert and Harriot had one son.
- Woodhouse was interested in the theoretical foundations of the calculus, the importance of notation, the nature of imaginary numbers and other similar topics.
- In essence Woodhouse was dealing with Taylor series of a function, from which he could directly read off the first, second, third etc.
- Woodhouse, therefore, failed to have much immediate influence as a reformer in mathematical studies at Cambridge.
- If the methods of Lagrange, rather than those of Cauchy, had become the accepted methods then Woodhouse would have a much more prominent role in the history of mathematics today.
- Peacock, in particular, considered Woodhouse's work to be of major importance but in general people did not appreciate his writing which, one would have to say, was rather difficult to understand and rather uninspiring.
- Another attempt by Woodhouse to bring mathematics at Cambridge up-to-date was in 1804 when he published a paper on elliptic integrals in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.
- Woodhouse's other works include A Treatise on Plane and Spherical Trigonometry (1809), A Treatise on Isoperimetrical Problems and the Calculus of Variations (1810), Treatise on Astronomy (1812) and a work on gravitation published in 1818.
Born 28 April 1773, Norwich, England. Died 28 December 1827, Cambridge, England.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Astronomy, Origin England
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