September 30, 1829|
Eccles, Greater Manchester
|Died||November 19, 1891(aged 62)|
|Institutions||Royal Indian Engineering College|
|Alma mater||St John's College, Cambridge|
|Known for||Wolstenholme primes
Wolstenholme was born in Eccles near Salford, Lancashire, England. He graduated from St John's College, Cambridge as Third Wrangler in 1850 and was elected a fellow of Christ's College in 1852. Collaborating with Percival Frost, a Treatise on Solid Geometry was published in 1863.
Wolstenholm served as Examiner in 1854, 1856, and 1863 for Cambridge Mathematical Tripos, and according to Andrew Forsyth his book Mathematical Problems made a significant contribution to mathematical education:
- ...gathered together from many examination papers to form a volume, which was considerably amplified in later editions, they exercised a very real influence upon successive generations of undergraduates; and "Wolstenholme's Problems" have proved a help and stimulus to many students.
In 1869 he resigned his fellowship to marry Térèse Kraus, his Swiss bride. He became a professor of mathematics at the Royal Indian Engineering College at Cooper's Hill, Egham near London from 1871 to 1889. In 1878 he published an expanded version of Mathematical Problems, and in 1888 Examples for Practice in the Use of Seven-figure Logarithms.
He was a close friend of Leslie Stephen from his undergraduate studies at Cambridge. Virginia Woolf used his personality for the character Augustus Carmichael in her novel To the Lighthouse. His sister was the feminist Elizabeth Clarke Wolstenholme Elmy.
- Percival Frost & J. Wolstenholme (1863) A Treatise on Solid Geometry, link from Hathitrust
- J. Wolstenholme (1867) A Book of Mathematical Problems, on subjects included in the Cambridge course, London: Macmillan Publishers, link from Biodiversity Heritage Library
- Crawford, Elizabeth (2001), The women's suffrage movement: a reference guide, 1866-1928, London: Routledge, p. 188, ISBN 0-415-23926-5
- Rod Gow (1995) Joseph Wolstenholme, Leslie Stephen, and To the Lighthouse, from Irish Mathematical Society Bulletin 34.
- Stephen Leslie (1900) Dictionary of National Biography, volume 62 see Joseph Wolstenholme.