William Matthews Makeham (1826–1891) was an English actuary and mathematician. Makeham was responsible for proposing the age-independent Makeham term in the Gompertz–Makeham law of mortality that, together with the exponentially age-dependent Gompertz term, was one of the most effective theories to describe human mortality.
Makeham was responsible for two important studies on human mortality:
- "On the Law of Mortality and the Construction of Annuity Tables." J. Inst. Actuaries and Assur. Mag. 8, 301–310, 1860.
- "On an Application of the Theory of the Composition of Decremental Forces." J. Inst. Actuaries and Assur. Mag. 18, 317–322, 1874.
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