W. W. Rouse Ball
|Walter William Rouse Ball|
14 August 1850|
Hampstead, London, England
|Died||4 April 1925
Elmside, Cambridge, England
|Alma mater||University College London
University of Cambridge
|Doctoral students||Ernest Barnes|
|Known for||Tessellations, magic squares, history of mathematics|
|Notable awards||Smith's Prize (1874)|
Walter William Rouse Ball, known as W. W. Rouse Ball (14 August 1850 – 4 April 1925), was a British mathematician, lawyer, and fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge from 1878 to 1905. He was also a keen amateur magician, and the founding president of the Cambridge Pentacle Club in 1919, one of the world's oldest magic societies.
Ball was the son and heir of Walter Frederick Ball, of 3, St John's Park Villas, South Hampstead, London. Educated at University College School, he entered Trinity College, Cambridge in 1870, became a scholar and first Smith's Prizeman, and gained his BA in 1874 as second Wrangler. He became a Fellow of Trinity in 1875, and remained one for the rest of his life.
He is commemorated in the naming of the small pavilion, now used as changing rooms and toilets, on Jesus Green in Cambridge.
- A History of the Study of Mathematics at Cambridge; Cambridge University Press, 1889 (reissued by the publisher, 2009, ISBN 978-1-108-00207-3)
- A Short Account of the History of Mathematics at Project Gutenberg (1st ed. 1888 and later editions). Dover 1960 republication of fourth edition: .
- Mathematical Recreations and Essays at Project Gutenberg (1st ed. 1892; later editions with H.S.M. Coxeter)
- A History of the First Trinity Boat Club (1908)
- String Figures; Cambridge, W. Heffer & Sons (1st ed. 1920, 2nd ed. 1921, 3rd ed. 1929, reprinted with supplements as Fun with String Figures by Dover Publications, 1971, ISBN 0-486-22809-6)
- Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics
- Rouse Ball Professor of English Law
- Martin Gardner: another author of recreational mathematics.
- "Ball, Walter William Rouse (BL870WW)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- Singmaster 2005, p. 658
- Oliver, J. E. (1892). "Review: Mathematical Recreations and Essays by W. W. Rouse Ball" (PDF). Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 2 (3): 37–46.
- Frame, J. S. (1940). "Review: Mathematical Recreations and Essays, 11th edition, by W. W. Rouse Ball; revised by H. S. M. Coxeter" (PDF). Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 45 (3): 211–213. doi:10.1090/S0002-9904-1940-07170-8.
- Singmaster, David (2005), "1892 Walter William Rouse Ball, Mathematical recreations and problems of past and present times", in Grattan-Guinness, I., Landmark Writings in Western Mathematics 1640-1940, Elsevier, pp. 653–663, ISBN 978-0-444-50871-3
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