David Gregory (mathematician)
|Died||10 October 1708
Maidenhead, Berkshire, England
|Residence||Scotland, Netherlands, France, England|
|Institutions||University of Edinburgh
University of Oxford
|Alma mater||University of Aberdeen, University of Leiden|
|Notable students||John Keill
|Known for||Development of infinite series|
|Influences||James Gregory, Archibald Pitcairne, Isaac Newton|
|Influenced||Colin Maclaurin, William Whiston|
He is the nephew of James Gregory.
David Gregory (originally spelt Gregorie) FRS (?1659 – 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.
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.
- O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "David Gregory (mathematician)", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.
- Significant Scots: David Gregory
- Papers of David Gregory