David Gregory (mathematician)

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David Gregory
David gregory mathematician.jpg
Born ?1659
Aberdeen, Scotland
Died 10 October 1708(1708-10-10) (aged 49)
Maidenhead, Berkshire, England
Residence Scotland, Netherlands, France, England
Nationality Scottish
Fields Mathematics
Institutions University of Edinburgh
University of Oxford
Alma mater University of Aberdeen, University of Leiden
Notable students John Keill
John Craig
Known for Development of infinite series
Influences James Gregory, Archibald Pitcairne, Isaac Newton
Influenced Colin Maclaurin, William Whiston
Notes
He is the nephew of James Gregory.

David Gregory (originally spelt Gregorie) FRS (?1659[1] – 10 October 1708) was a Scottish mathematician and astronomer. He was professor of mathematics at the University of Edinburgh, Savilian Professor of Astronomy at the University of Oxford, and a commentator on Isaac Newton's Principia.

The fourth of the fifteen children of David Gregorie, a doctor from Kinnairdy, Banffshire, and Jean Walker of Orchiston, David was born in Upper Kirkgate, Aberdeen. The nephew of astronomer and mathematician James Gregory, David, like his influential uncle before him, studied at Aberdeen Grammar School and Marischal College (University of Aberdeen), from 1671 to 1675, beginning when he was only 12 years old. After his university studies (he never graduated), still only 16 years old, Gregory visited several countries on the continent, including the Netherlands (where he began studying medicine at Leiden University) and France, and did not return to Scotland until 1683.

In 1690, during a period of political and religious unrest in Scotland (the Gregories were Episcopalians, and associated with the Jacobite cause), Gregory decided to leave for England where, in 1691, he was elected Savilian Professor at the University of Oxford, due in large part to the influence of Isaac Newton. The same year he was elected to be a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1692, he was elected a Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford.

At the age of 24 he was appointed professor of mathematics at the University of Edinburgh. During 1694, he spent several days with Isaac Newton, discussing a second edition of Newton's Principia, but these plans came to nothing.[2]

At the Union of 1707, he was given the responsibility of reorganising the Scottish Mint.

He was an uncle of philosopher Thomas Reid.

Gregory and his wife, Elizabeth Oliphant, had nine children, but seven died while still children.

On his death in Maidenhead, Berkshire he was buried in Maidenhead churchyard.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Royal Society
  2. ^ Westfall, Richard S. (1980). Never at Rest. C.U.P. p. 506. 
  3. ^ The Royal Society

External links[edit]