Charles Niven

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Charles Niven
Charles Niven.jpg
Born(1845-09-14)September 14, 1845
DiedMay 11, 1923(1923-05-11) (aged 77)
Resting placeSt Devenicks-on-the-Hill, Banchory-Devenick (Aberdeenshire)
57°06′47″N 2°11′47″W / 57.113051°N 2.196437°W / 57.113051; -2.196437
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge
Spouse(s)Mary Stewart
Scientific career
InstitutionsMarischal College, University of Aberdeen

Charles Niven (1845–1923) was a Scottish mathematician and physicist who spent most of his career at the University of Aberdeen. He published on mechanic, electricity and heat.[1]

Life and work[edit]

Charles Niven studied mathematics at Aberdeen and was awarded a BA in 1863, and then studied at Cambridge. Charles and his older brother William D. were tutored by Edward Routh for the Mathematical Tripos. Charles became senior wrangler in 1867.[2]

The city of Cork in South-West Region, Ireland had been the home of George Boole, and was in need of a professor of mathematics. Charles took up teaching at Queen's College Cork for a dozen years.[3]

From 1880, Niven was professor of Natural Philosophy in the University of Aberdeen, and he was responsible for establishing the Physics Department in the Marischal College when it was founded in 1906.[4] He retired at the end of 1922.[5]

Charles Niven was a Fellow of the Royal Society from 1880 and honorary member of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society from 1883.[6]


  1. ^ Niven, Charles Some Account of the Last Bajans of King's and Marischal Colleges, p.42
  2. ^ Warwick 2003, p. 154.
  3. ^ Macdonald 1923, p. xxvii.
  4. ^ O'Connor & Robertson, MacTutor History of Mathematics.
  5. ^ Macdonald 1923, p. xxviii.
  6. ^ Royal Society Obituary of Charles Niven


  • Flood, Raymond (2006). "Mathematics in Victorian Ireland". Journal of the British Society for the History of Mathematics. 21 (3): 200–211. doi:10.1080/17498430600964433. ISSN 1749-8430.
  • Macdonald, H.M. (1923). "Charles Niven, 1845–1923 Obituary" (PDF). Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. 104 (728): xxvii–xviii. doi:10.1098/rspa.1923.0126. ISSN 1364-5021.
  • Warwick, Andrew (2003). "A very hard nut to crack". In Mario Biagioli; Peter Galison (eds.). Scientific Authorship: Credit and Intellectual Property in Science. Taylor & Francis. pp. 133–163. ISBN 978-0-415-94293-5.

External links[edit]