Person: Mercer, James
James Mercer was an English mathematician who worked in analysis -- in particular in integral equations.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- James had eight younger siblings: Mary (born about 1885), Alice (born 1887), Richard (born 1889) and Thomas (born about 1891), Frank (born about 1893), Eric (born 1894), Sarah (born about 1897) and Ernest (born about 1899).
- James Mercer was educated in Liverpool, attending University College there before entering Trinity College Cambridge to study the mathematical Tripos.
- Hardy had just come onto the staff at Trinity and he acted as a private tutor to Mercer.
- Mercer graduated in 1907 bracketed Senior Wrangler (first equal) with Littlewood.
- During the First World War Mercer served as a Naval Instructor.
- Mercer survived the battle and at the end of the war returned to his duties at Cambridge.
- Mercer's theorem about the uniform convergence of eigenfunction expansions for kernels of operators appears in his 1909 paper Functions of positive and negative types and their connection with the theory of integral equations published in the Philosophical Transactions.
- There have been many papers written since then generalising Mercer's theorem to various other settings.
Born 15 January 1883, Bootle, Liverpool, England. Died 21 February 1932, London, England.
View full biography at MacTutor
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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