Person: Lawson, George
George Lawson graduated from St Andrews and became assistant to the professor. He eventually became Rector of Waid Academy Anstruther.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Lawson first matriculated at the University of St Andrews in 1887.
- At university Lawson showed great talent and was awarded the Carstairs Prize (awarded to the best mathematics student in each of the three years) in both 1889 and 1890, the Millar Prize (awarded to the best student in each year) in 1890, the Gray Prize (awarded for an essay on a prescribed subject) in both 1891 and 1892, and the Arnott Prize (awarded on examination in Natural Philosophy at the end of the session) in 1891.
- Lawson was employed by the University of St Andrews as an Assistant to the Professor of Mathematics before the award of his degree.
- In 1900 Lawson went to Edinburgh to take up the post of Mathematics Master at George Watson's College.
- Lawson was an active member of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society joining the Society in February 1897 while he was Assistant to the Professor of Mathematics at the University of St Andrews.
- In the subsequent discussion Lawson took an active part.
- At the Edinburgh Mathematical Society's 1938 St Andrews Colloquium, held during Lawson's presidency of the Society, he submitted for debate a paper on "Neglect of Form and Law in School Algebra" on the Saturday night.
- In criticising that development, Mr Lawson referred to another development which seemed possible 30 years ago, and said it was based largely on a book quoted by Sir Percy Nunn himself - namely, that of Barnard and Child.
- Mr Lawson took up the position that algebra at that time took the wrong road, and he advocated a modification of the Barnard and Child position.
- On Friday 4 November 1938 Lawson gave his presidential address to the Edinburgh Mathematical Society.
- Mr Lawson gave an account of his method of introducing the idea of negative numbers to his pupils, and criticised some of the methods used in the text-books.
- On Monday 1 August 1938 a letter by George Lawson, written during his time as President of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society, concerning Merchiston Castle was published in The Scotsman.
Born 26 November 1870, Culross, Fife, Scotland. Died 15 March 1941, Edinburgh, Scotland.
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