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Mathematics at the Meridian

The History of Mathematics at Greenwich

Raymond Flood editor Tony Mann editor Mary Croarken editor

Format:Hardback

Publisher:Taylor & Francis Inc

Published:8th Nov '19

Currently unavailable, and unfortunately no date known when it will be back

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Mathematics at the Meridian cover

Greenwich has been a centre for scientific computing since the foundation of the Royal Observatory in 1675. Early Astronomers Royal gathered astronomical data with the purpose of enabling navigators to compute their longitude at sea. Nevil Maskelyne in the 18th century organised the work of computing tables for the Nautical Almanac, anticipating later methods used in safety-critical computing systems. The 19th century saw influential critiques of Charles Babbage’s mechanical calculating engines, and in the 20th century Leslie Comrie and others pioneered the automation of computation. The arrival of the Royal Naval College in 1873 and the University of Greenwich in 1999 has brought more mathematicians and different kinds of mathematics to Greenwich. In the 21st century computational mathematics has found many new applications. This book presents an account of the mathematicians who worked at Greenwich and their achievements.

Features

  • A scholarly but accessible history of mathematics at Greenwich, from the seventeenth century to the present day, with each chapter written by an expert in the field
  • The book will appeal to astronomical and naval historians as well as historians of mathematics and scientific computing.
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"Some time ago, I attended an interesting short conference on Greenwich: some Mathematical Connections. I am delighted thatthis has inspired the present volume, Mathematics at the Meridian: The History of Mathematics at Greenwich, that features many of the same eminent contributors.

Greenwich has a unique status in Britain, rightly recognised as a World Heritage Site: a centre for shipping and navigation, astronomy and education, and an architectural treasure. This book comprehensively explores the important role of mathematics in its long history. From John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal at the ‘King’s Observatory’ who compiled reliable astronomical tables, to his successors, Nevil Maskelyne and George Biddell Airy, there was strong emphasis on accurate computation alongside precise observations. In more recent times, L.J. Comrie oversaw the mechanical production of mathematical tables.

The Greenwich Royal Hospital School and Greenwich Naval College educated the youth, and several professors did notable research, particularly Thomas Archer Hirst and William Burnside.

In its twelve chapters, this book gives a comprehensive, scholarly and readable overview of Greenwich and its mathematical, astronomical and computational achievements. As a bonus, it is attractively illustrated with numerous portraits and other images."

— Emeritus Professor Alexander Craik, University of St Andrews

From the building of the Royal Observatory in the 1670s, to the 21st century mathematics department at the University, Mathematics at the Meridian: The History of Mathematics at Greenwich shows that Greenwich has a long, varied and important mathematical history. It is a history which, amongst other things, encompasses the longitude problem, calculating machines and mathematical instruments, and major figures including John Flamsteed, George Biddell Airy, Thomas Archer Hirst and William Burnside.

Raymond Flood, Tony Mann and Mary Coarken have brought together a group of authors who are both experts in their fields and excellent communicators to produce a wonderful edited volume. Mathematics at the Meridian is a treasure trove for anyone interested in mathematics, astronomy and their history.

—Dr Mark McCartney, Senior Lecturer in Mathematics, Ulster University

"I can thoroughly recommend this book for anybody interested in any of the diverse topic covered however, despite what at first glance, might appear as a somewhat specialised book, I can also recommend it for the more general reader interested in the histories of mathematics, astronomy and navigation or those perhaps interested in the cultural history of one of London’s most fascinating district. After all mathematics, astronomy and navigation are all parts of human culture."

—Thony Christie

"An impressively organized and presented work of detailed historical research and scholarship, Mathematics at the Meridian: The History of Mathematics at Greenwich is unreservedly recommended for college and university library History of Mathematics collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists."

Midwest Book Review


"Some time ago, I attended an interesting short conference on Greenwich: some Mathematical Connections. I am delighted thatthis has inspired the present volume, Mathematics at the Meridian: The History of Mathematics at Greenwich, that features many of the same eminent contributors.

Greenwich has a unique status in Britain, rightly recognised as a World Heritage Site: a centre for shipping and navigation, astronomy and education, and an architectural treasure. This book comprehensively explores the important role of mathematics in its long history. From John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal at the ‘King’s Observatory’ who compiled reliable astronomical tables, to his successors, Nevil Maskelyne and George Biddell Airy, there was strong emphasis on accurate computation alongside precise observations. In more recent times, L.J. Comrie oversaw the mechanical production of mathematical tables.

The Greenwich Royal Hospital School and Greenwich Naval College educated the youth, and several professors did notable research, particularly Thomas Archer Hirst and William Burnside.

In its twelve chapters, this book gives a comprehensive, scholarly and readable overview of Greenwich and its mathematical, astronomical and computational achievements. As a bonus, it is attractively illustrated with numerous portraits and other images."
— Emeritus Professor Alexander Craik, University of St Andrews, UK

From the building of the Royal Observatory in the 1670s, to the 21st century mathematics department at the University, Mathematics at the Meridian: The History of Mathematics at Greenwich shows that Greenwich has a long, varied and important mathematical history. It is a history which, amongst other things, encompasses the longitude problem, calculating machines and mathematical instruments, and major figures including John Flamsteed, George Biddell Airy, Thomas Archer Hirst and William Burnside.

Raymond Flood, Tony Mann and Mary Coarken have brought together a group of authors who are both experts in their fields and excellent communicators to produce a wonderful edited volume. Mathematics at the Meridian is a treasure trove for anyone interested in mathematics, astronomy and their history.
—Dr Mark McCartney, Senior Lecturer in Mathematics, Ulster University, UK

"I can thoroughly recommend this book for anybody interested in any of the diverse topic covered however, despite what at first glance, might appear as a somewhat specialised book, I can also recommend it for the more general reader interested in the histories of mathematics, astronomy and navigation or those perhaps interested in the cultural history of one of London’s most fascinating district. After all mathematics, astronomy and navigation are all parts of human culture."
—Thony Christie, Germany

"An impressively organized and presented work of detailed historical research and scholarship, Mathematics at the Meridian: The History of Mathematics at Greenwich is unreservedly recommended for college and university library History of Mathematics collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists."
Midwest Book Review, USA

"[. . .] Greenwich is perhaps a unique location in the history of mathematics for its long devotion to observational astronomy, the resulting detailed calculations, production of mathematical and nautical tables, and naval education at both school and university level. Some of the topics covered here are quite well-known, others much less so. Together, Mathematics at the Meridian makes their history accessible, tracing the lives of the individuals and institutions involved over the span of more than three centuries."
—Duncan J. Melville forMathematical Association for America, Historian of Mathematics and professor at St. Lawrence University, USA

"Each chapter is prefaced by a table of contents, and the chronological organization contributes to the clarity and flow. Throughout there is a plentiful supply of images. This book is a welcome addition to the literature on the history of the British Isles, and to the history of mathematics. Like any good book it should act as a spur to further research, and should not be considered just as the last word, or a monument."
Mathematical Gazette

ISBN: 9780815368793

Dimensions: unknown

Weight: 1170g

242 pages