‘A man who has infinite capacity for making things go’: Sir Edmund Taylor Whittaker (1873–1956)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Among the leading mathematicians of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was British mathematician and astronomer, Sir Edmund Taylor Whittaker. Born in Southport, in the north of England, Whittaker began his career at the University of Cambridge, before moving to Dunsink to become Royal Astronomer of Ireland and Andrews Professor of Astronomy at Trinity College, Dublin, and finishing in Scotland as Professor of Mathematics at the University of Edinburgh. Whittaker completed original work in a variety of fields, ranging from pure mathematics to mathematical physics and astronomy, as well as publishing on topics in philosophy, history, and theology. Whittaker is also noted as the first person to have opened a mathematical laboratory— with the focus on numerical analysis—in Great Britain. The purpose of this paper is to give an overview ofWhittaker’s life, both as an academic and a person.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-193
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Journal for the History of Mathematics
Volume34
Issue number3
Early online date25 May 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 May 2019

Keywords

  • Royal Astronomer of Ireland, Edinburgh University

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