Person: Joly, Charles
Charles Joly was an Irish mathematician who did outstanding work on the quaternions. He became Andrews Professor of Astronomy in the University of Dublin and Royal Astronomer of Ireland at Dunsink Observatory.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- This Protestant school, established by the Erasmus Smith Trust in 1669, was, when Joly was a pupil, situated in College Street.
- Joly gained a reputation as a fine mathematician, being awarded numerous prizes and medals, and won a scholarship to Trinity College Dublin which he entered in 1882.
- as a student in Trinity College there was nothing accomplished by Joly that has not been accomplished by many a man who subsequently remained without further distinctions through life.
- Despite this slightly uninspiring undergraduate career, nevertheless Joly graduated in 1886 as the top mathematician of his year.
- Year after year Joly fell short of success.
- It was not till 1894 that Joly was successful in his efforts to gain Fellowship.
- The somewhat peculiar way that the Fellowship competition was organised meant that publishing original work was of no great help so it was not until he obtained the Fellowship that Joly began publishing mathematical papers relating to the quaternions.
- Also in 1897 Joly was appointed as Andrews Professor of Astronomy in the University of Dublin and Royal Astronomer of Ireland at Dunsink Observatory.
- Once established in Dunsink Observatory, Joly began publishing on both astronomy and on mathematics related to quaternions.
- In 1900 the International Congress of Mathematicians was held in Paris in August and Macfarlane travelled from Canada to Paris, stopping in Dublin for a few days to visit Joly.
- About Hamilton's habits and peculiarities Joly had a great stock of information.
- One day Professor Joly took me to see the Quaternion bridge.
- In 1903 Joly published the paper Quaternions and Projective Geometry which, being over 100 pages in length, could easily have been a book.
- Joly was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1904, then in the following year, he published his book A Manual of Quaternions.
- Soon Joly too became ill with the disease.
Born 27 June 1864, Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland. Died 4 January 1906, Dunsink, Dublin, Ireland.
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