Person: Macdonald, William James
William James Macdonald was a Scottish school teacher who was a pioneer of the introduction of modern geometry to the mathematical curriculum.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- The school had grown rapidly after its foundation and when Macdonald attended the number of pupils there was many times the number of students at the University in St Andrews.
- Macdonald was dux of Madras College in 1868.
- After completing his school education, Macdonald entered the University of St Andrews, giving the Latin version of his name "Gulielmus Jacobus Macdonald" when he matriculated.
- Macdonald showed his outstanding abilities by gaining prizes in almost all the classes he took.
- After graduating, Macdonald was appointed as an assistant in the Mathematics Department in Madras College.
- Macdonald also acted as an external examiner in mathematics for the University of St Andrews for two periods of three years.
- However, Macdonald respectfully declined the honour.
- He was proposed by William Swan, John Sturgeon Mackay, George Chrystal, and Sir Thomas Muir.
- Macdonald was a founder member of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society, joining at the first meeting of the Society in February 1883.
- Examples of papers Macdonald read to the Society are: An account of Pascal's "Essais pour les Coniques" (Friday 14 March 1884); A proof of a geometrical theorem (Friday 11 February 1887); and A Suggestion for Improvement of Mathematical Tables (Friday 8 March 1895).
- William James Macdonald, in his 91st year, late mathematical master, Daniel Stewart's College.
Born 14 December 1851, Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Died 29 December 1941, Edinburgh, Scotland.
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Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive