Arthur Stafford Hathaway

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Arthur Stafford Hathaway (1855 — 1934) was an American mathematician.

Arthur was born September 15, 1855, in Keeler, Michigan.[1]

A student at Cornell University, Hathaway earned a bachelor's degree in 1879. For two years he was instructor in mathematics at Friends High School in Baltimore. Hathaway studied with James Joseph Sylvester at Johns Hopkins University. From Sylvester's lectures he learned some number theory and published notes on congruences.

He was an instructor at Cornell University from 1885 to 1890 and an assistant professor in 1891.

In October 1884 William Thomson, Baron Kelvin led a master class on "Molecular Dynamics and the Wave Theory of Light" at Johns Hopkins. Kelvin did not provide a text for his course and Hathaway made notes in short-hand. He wrote up the notes and duplicated them with a Papyrograph, a recent stencil-based device. As the demand outstripped the supply, Hathaway corresponded with Kelvin back in Glasgow to prepare for proper publication. After nineteen years the lectures were published.[2] In 1987 Hathaway's original transcription from 1884 was published when Johns Hopkins Center for the History and Philosophy of Science decided to commemorate the centennial of Kelvin's lectures.[3]

In Terre Haute, Indiana Hathaway taught at Rose Polytechnic Institute until 1920 and published A Primer on Quaternions in 1896. He became the U.S. national secretary for the international Quaternion Society in 1899.



  1. ^ J. McKeen Cattell & Dean A. Brimhall (1921) American Men of Science, page 298, link from Biodiversity Heritage Library
  2. ^ William Thomson, Lord Kelvin (1904) Molecular dynamics and the wave theory of light, twenty lectures transcribed by A.S. Hathaway, Cambridge University Press, link from Internet Archive
  3. ^ Robert Kargon and Peter Achinstein (1987) Kelvin’s Baltimore Lectures and Modern Theoretical Physics: historical and philosophical perspectives, MIT Press ISBN 0-262-11117-9

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