Person: Wren (2), Thomas Lancaster
Thomas Wren was an English mathematician whose main work was in geometry.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- It moved into new buildings in 1890, the year after Wren was born, and these buildings are still part of the school today.
- When Wren studied there it was a boys' school and, after an excellent education, he graduated in 1908.
- Wren held this fellowship from 1913 to 1919 and, in addition, he was an Assistant in Mathematics at Bedford College, London, during the academic year 1913-14.
- Now, by the time Wren was appointed as a College lecturer at Cambridge, Britain was already at war having declared war on Germany after that country invaded Belgium on 4 August 1914.
- Wren had been in the Officers Training Corps while an undergraduate at Cambridge and, after teaching at Cambridge for the academic year 1914-15, he joined the Army.
- Cambridge supplied several members of the group, including Thomas Lancaster Wren, a geometer "addicted to the purest of pure geometry" ...
- Other mathematicians serving in the Anti-Aircraft Experimental Section included William Edward Hodgson Berwick who was one year older than Wren and had taken the same Cambridge Mathematical Tripos examinations one year earlier.
- Richmond was much older than Wren and had graduated from Cambridge before Wren was even born.
- The interplay between these mathematicians working in the Anti-Aircraft Experimental Section was very effective and Wren always said what stimulating contacts he had made at that time.
- The war ended in November 1918, and in February 1919 Wren returned to his position as a fellow and College lecturer at Cambridge.
- However, it should be recorded that L N G Filon dedicated the second edition of his 'Introduction to projective geometry' to Wren, acknowledging that without Wren's friendly and unselfish help he could never have accomplished his task.
- Mr Wren very kindly undertook the laborious task of looking over the whole manuscript of the revised work and has actually checked practically every example, and suggested many new ones.
- A joint seminar, established by J G Semple and Wren and held alternately at King's and University Colleges, promoted the exchange of such ideas.
- Geometry was not Wren's only contribution.
- Although Wren only published four papers, he did also write some excellent review articles such as his review of The Theory of Ruled Surfaces (1931), by W L Edge.
- After a long period when he ceased to be able to move about easily but remained otherwise as alert as ever, Wren died on 14th July, 1972.
Born 18 April 1889, Islington, London, England. Died 14 July 1972, Kensington, London, England.
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