Portal:University of Cambridge

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The University of Cambridge Portal

University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge (informally "Cambridge University", or simply "Cambridge"), located in the city of Cambridge, England, is the second oldest university in the English-speaking world and the fourth oldest in Europe. The name is sometimes abbreviated as Cantab. in post-nominals, a shortened form of Cantabrigiensis (an adjective derived from Cantabrigia, the Latinised form of Cambridge). The university grew out of an association of scholars in the city of Cambridge that was formed, early records suggest, in 1209 by scholars leaving the University of Oxford after a dispute with townsfolk there. The universities of Oxford and Cambridge are often jointly referred to as "Oxbridge". In addition to cultural and practical associations as a historic part of British society, the two universities also have a long history of rivalry with each other. Academically, Cambridge is consistently ranked in the world's top five universities and as a premier leading university in Europe by numerous media and academic rankings. The University's alumni include 88 Nobel Laureates as of 2012. (more...)
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An MA hood
In the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Dublin, the degree of Master of Arts or "Master in Arts" ("MA") is awarded to Bachelors of Arts of those universities on application after six or seven years' seniority as members of the university (including years as an undergraduate). There is no examination or study required for the degree beyond those required for the BA. This practice differs from that in most other universities worldwide, for whom the degree reflects further postgraduate study or achievement, and these degrees thus are frequently referred to as the "Oxbridge MA" and "Dublin" or "Trinity MA" to differentiate them. The Oxbridge MA is based on a system of academic rank rather than academic qualifications. Once one has been incepted/promoted to MA, they technically are no longer a BA and cannot say that they are both at the same time nor wear the academicals pertaining to the BA degree. All three universities have other masters' degrees that require further study and examination, but these have other titles, e.g. Master of Letters (MLitt), Master of Philosophy (MPhil), Master of Science (MSc) etc. (more...)

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Title page Certaine Errors in Navigation
Edward Wright (1561–1615) was an English mathematician and cartographer noted for his book Certaine Errors in Navigation, which for the first time explained the mathematical basis of the Mercator projection, and set out a reference table giving the linear scale multiplication factor as a function of latitude, calculated for each minute of arc up to a latitude of 75°. This was the essential step needed to make practical both the making and the navigational use of Mercator charts. He was educated at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. In 1589 Elizabeth I requested that he carry out navigational studies with a raiding expedition organised by the Earl of Cumberland to the Azores to capture Spanish galleons. In 1599, Wright created and published the first world map produced in England and the first to use the Mercator projection since Gerardus Mercator's original 1569 map. He also translated John Napier's pioneering 1614 work which introduced the idea of logarithms. Wright's work influenced, among other persons, Dutch astronomer and mathematician Willebrord Snellius; Adriaan Metius, the geometer and astronomer from Holland; and the English mathematician Richard Norwood. (more...)

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The main entrance to the Fitzwilliam Museum, the art and antiquities museum of the University of Cambridge.
Credit: Andrew Dunn
The main entrance to the Fitzwilliam Museum, the art and antiquities museum of the University of Cambridge.

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The King, observing with judicious eyes
The state of both his universities,
To Oxford sent a troop of horse, and why?
That learned body wanted loyalty;
To Cambridge books, as very well discerning
How much that loyal body wanted learning.

(lines written on George I's donation of the Bishop of Ely's Library to Cambridge University)

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A view of the Old Court of Selwyn College taken from the north-west corner
Credit: Huangcjz
A view of the Old Court of Selwyn College taken from the north-west corner

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