E. W. Hobson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
E. W. Hobson
Ernest William Hobson DMD1920.jpg
Ernest William Hobson (1856–1933)
Born27 October 1856
Derby, England
Died19 April 1933 (1933-04-20) (aged 76)
Alma materRoyal School of Mines
Christ's College, Cambridge
Known forReal analysis
AwardsRoyal Medal (1907)
De Morgan Medal (1920)
Scientific career
InstitutionsChrist's College, Cambridge
Notable studentsPhilippa Fawcett
John Maynard Keynes

Ernest William Hobson FRS[1] (27 October 1856 – 19 April 1933) was an English mathematician, now remembered mostly for his books, some of which broke new ground in their coverage in English of topics from mathematical analysis. He was Sadleirian Professor of Pure Mathematics at the University of Cambridge from 1910 to 1931.


He was born in Derby, and was educated at Derby School, the Royal School of Mines, and Christ's College, Cambridge, graduating Senior Wrangler in 1878.[2] He was the brother of the economist John A. Hobson. He became a Fellow of Christ's almost immediately after graduation. He made his way into research mathematics only gradually, becoming an expert in the theory of spherical harmonics.

His 1907 work on real analysis was something of a watershed in the British mathematical tradition; and was lauded by G. H. Hardy.[3] It included material on general topology and Fourier series that was topical at the time; and included mistakes that were picked up later (for example by R. L. Moore).

From 1924 to 1927 Robert Pollock Gillespie studied under him.[4]

He is buried in the Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground in Cambridge, with his wife Seline, born 25 March 1860, died 10 June 1940, by whom he had four sons, one of whom Walter William (1894 - 1930) is buried with them in the same grave.


  • A Treatise on Trigonometry (1891)
  • Theory of Functions of a Real Variable (1907)
  • Hobson, E. W. (1921) [1907], The theory of functions of a real variable and the theory of Fourier's series. Vol. I (2nd ed.), Cambridge University Press, MR 0092828
  • Hobson, E. W. (1926) [1907], The theory of functions of a real variable and the theory of Fourier's series. Vol. II (2nd ed.), Cambridge University Press, MR 0092829
  • Mathematics, from the points of view of the Mathematician and of the Physicist (1912)
  • Squaring the Circle (1913)
  • The Domain of Natural Science (1923) Gifford Lectures
  • The Theory of Spherical and Ellipsoidal Harmonics (1931)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ernest William Hobson. 1856-1933". Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society. 1 (3): 236–413. 1934. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1934.0008.
  2. ^ "Hobson, Ernest William (HB874EW)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. ^ lms newsletter Archived 2010-10-18 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/history/Biographies/Gillespie.html

External links[edit]