Person: Anstice, Robert Richard
Robert Richard Anstice was an English clergyman and mathematician who wrote two remarkable papers on combinatorics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Robert Anstice was the fourth and youngest of William and Penelope Anstice's sons.
- We know that Anstice was awarded a scholarship to study mathematics after graduating at Oxford but there is then a rather strange gap in our knowledge of him for nothing is known of what he did over the following ten years.
- Anstice was ordained in 1846 and the following year he became rector of Wigginton, near Tring, in the diocese of St Albans.
- Robert Anstice wrote three mathematical papers in his six years as rector in the parish of Wigginton.
- Anstice achieved a brilliant generalisation to a resolvable Steiner triple system on 2p+12p + 12p+1 elements for all primes ppp congruent to 1 modulo 6.
- Anstice also constructed an infinite number of Room squares a hundred years before T G Room wrote his paper in which it was thought for many years that the squares first appeared and from which they were named.
- Perhaps even more remarkable is the fact that the method of differences which Anstice used has become one of the standard methods of design construction.
- Anstice also gave examples of 2-rotational Kirkman triple systems which remained the only ones known until 1971.
Born 9 April 1813, Madeley, Shropshire, England. Died 17 December 1853, Wigginton (near Tring), Hertfordshire, England.
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