Parkinson went up to St John's College, Cambridge as a sizar in 1841 and graduated as Senior Wrangler in 1845, beating William Thomson (later to become Lord Kelvin). He was elected to a Fellowship at St John's in the same year. He was ordained in 1851, made BD in 1855 and DD in 1869.
He was College lecturer in mathematics, tutor and President (1865-89). He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1870.
Parkinson was the author of two mathematical textbooks, Elementary Treatise on Mechanics (1855) and A Treatise on Optics (1859).
- "Parkinson, Stephen (PRKN841S)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- Papers of Stephen Parkinson
- Proceedings of the Royal Society 45 (1888-89) pp.i-iii.
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