01/10/2017
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Scottish mathematician Robert Simson died - On this day in Scottish history

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Scottish mathematician Robert Simson died on 1 October 1768 at the age of eighty. Simson was an Ayrshire-born scholar who entered mathematics after a planned career in the church. He gained his degree at the University of Glasgow and became the University's chair of mathematics after a spell in London.

Simson had a keen interest in the work of the classic mathematicians and published new editions and commentaries on older works, beginning with a paper on Euclid's Porisms. This was followed a few years later with Euclid's Elements. Simson is remembered by the 'Simson line' which is the name sometimes given to the pedal line of a triangle, and by a large memorial in the cemetery at West Kilbride, the town in which he was born.

Timeline

14 October 1687 - Robert Simson is born in West Kilbride, Ayrshire

1711 - Simson becomes Chair of Mathematics at the University of Glasgow

1756 - Euclid's Elements is published

1761 - Simson ends his work as Chair of Mathematics

1 October 1768 - Robert Simson dies

 

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