Person: Bennett, Geoffrey Thomas
Geoffrey Bennett was an English mathematician with wide interests including number theory, combinatorics and history.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Bennett entered University College School, which had been founded in Gower Street in 1830 as part of University College, London, in 1883.
- This was an outstanding school which by the time Bennett studied there was within University College itself.
- Bennett had the distinction of being Senior Wrangler in Mathematical Tripos of 1890 but he did not come top in the examinations; Philippa Fawcett was the best student.
- Bennett was the first Senior Wrangler to have a woman placed above him.
- Bennett was awarded a First Class in the examination of 1891 and became the first Smith's Prizeman in the following year.
- Bennett's first paper, entitled On the Residues of Powers of Numbers for any Composite Modulus, Real or Complex, was published in 1892 in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.
- In it Bennett considers a skew hinged four-bar mechanism in three dimensional space.
- This remarkable mechanism Bennett called a skew isogram.
- In a subsequent 22 page paper The skew isogram mechanism which he published in 1914, Bennett presented many interesting properties of the skew isogram, some without proofs.
- These proofs were not written down until Bernard Groeneveld's thesis Geometrical considerations on space kinematics in connection with Bennett's mechanism presented to the Technische Hogeschool te Delft in 1954.
- In 1922 Bennett published The three-bar sextic curve.
- Bennett was elected a Senior Fellow of Emmanuel College in 1899.
- Another aspect of Bennett's mathematical work was as an historian.
- Outside mathematics Bennett had many interests.
- The university bicycle club had an annual road race of fifty miles, in which Bennett rode on three occasions, being successively third, second and first.
- Sir G S W Epps, formerly a pupil of Bennett's, while gratefully recording his indebtedness to Bennett's teaching, tells of a machine devised by Bennett in which he lay flat along the frame (with a pad for his chest), using a mirror to see ahead.
- A few more details help to complete a picture of Bennett.
- Note also an article entitled Wari by Bennett in Robert Sutherland Rattray's book Religion & Art in Ashanti published in 1927 in which he gives the rules and some strategies of the African game of owari.
- Perhaps it is worth noting, as a partial defence of Bennett, that a Google Book Search for "G T Bennett" "Emmanuel College" yields around 200 hits.
- When Robert Macmillan went to Emmanuel College in 1941, he came to know Bennett for a short while (Bennett died while Macmillan was studying at the College).
- Bennett was popularly known then as "Beaver" Bennett, because he had a formidable white beard in his old age.
Born 30 June 1868, Clerkenwell, Middlesex, England. Died 11 October 1943, Cambridge, 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