Person: Gregory (8), Duncan
Duncan Gregory was a Scottish mathematician who was one of the first to investigate modern ideas of abstract algebra. He was a great-great-grandson of James Gregory
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- He showed great promise at school and, during the winter of 1827, Gregory was sent to an academy in Geneva where his mathematical talents were obvious to the teachers.
- On his return from Geneva, Gregory became an undergraduate at Edinburgh University where he began to study advanced mathematical topics and he also conducted experiments with polarised light.
- In October 1833, at the age of 20, Gregory entered Trinity College, Cambridge, receiving his B.A. in 1837, being ranked fifth wrangler, and his M.A. in 1841.
- At this time the Cambridge Mathematical Journal was beginning publication and Gregory became its first editor.
- Many of the papers in the early parts of the Journal are written by Gregory himself.
- Gregory declined a chair in Toronto in 1841 due to ill health.
- His work in this area is described in the paper On the real nature of symbolic algebra which Gregory published in the Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
- In this work Gregory built on the foundations of Peacock but went far further towards modern algebra.
- Gregory, in his turn, had a major influence on Boole and it was through his influence that Boole set out on his innovative research.
- Two other important works by Duncan Gregory are Examples of the Processes of the Differential and Integral Calculus and A Treatise on the Application of Analysis to Solid Geometry.
Born 13 April 1813, Edinburgh, Scotland. Died 23 February 1844, Edinburgh, Scotland.
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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