Walter Brown (mathematician)

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Walter Brown FRSE (29 April 1886, Glasgow – 14 April 1957, Marandellas, Rhodesia) was a Scottish mathematician and engineer.

The younger son of Hugh A. Brown, a headmaster in Paisley, Walter was educated at Allan Glen's School and the University of Glasgow (BSc Hons Mathematics and Physics 1907; and BSc Pure Science 1910). He began his career as a teacher at Allan Glen's. Brown became a member of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society in March 1911.[1]

In 1914 he took up the post of Lecturer in Engineering at Hong Kong University. He was soon promoted to become Professor in Pure and Applied Mathematics, a post he held from 1918 to 1946.[2]

In 1920 he was elected an Associate Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers.

He was President of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Society, and a member of the Hong Kong English Association, the Hong Kong Sino-British Association, and the Hong Kong Institute of Engineers and Shipbuilders.

A member of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, Brown was captured when Hong Kong surrendered to the Japanese, and he was held as a Prisoner of War at Stanley Camp (1941–45). He organised study groups in the internment camp, and helped attend to the medical needs of the prisoners.[3]

Returning to Scotland after the war, he taught civil and mechanical engineering at the Royal Technical College in Glasgow (1946–47), and mathematics at the University of Glasgow (1947–48).


  1. ^ "Biography". School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St Andrews. Retrieved 20 September 2010. 
  2. ^ "Former RSE Fellows 1783–2002" (PDF). Royal Society of Edinburgh. Retrieved 19 September 2010. 
  3. ^ Royal Society of Edinburgh Year Book 1958.