Oxford's Savilian Professors of Geometry: The First 400 Years

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The Savilian Professorships in Geometry and Astronomy at Oxford University were founded in 1619 by Sir Henry Savile, distinguished scholar and Warden of Merton College. The Geometry chair, in particular, is the earliest University-based mathematics professorship in England, predating the first Cambridge equivalent by about sixty years.

To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of the geometry chair, a meeting was held at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, and the talks presented at this meeting have formed the basis for this fully edited and lavishly illustrated book, which outlines the first 400 years of Oxford's Savilian Professors of Geometry.

Starting with Henry Briggs, the co-inventor of logarithms, this volume proceeds via such figures as John Wallis, a founder member of the Royal Society, and Edmond Halley, via the 19th-century figures of Stephen Rigaud, Baden Powell, Henry Smith, and James Joseph Sylvester, to the 20th century and the present day.

Oxford's Savilian Professors of Geometry: The First 400 Years assumes no mathematical background, and should therefore appeal to the interested general reader with an interest in mathematics and the sciences. It should also be of interest to anyone interested in the history of mathematics or of the development of Oxford and its namesake university. To all of these audiences it offers portraits of mathematicians at work and an accessible exposition of historical mathematics in the context of its times.

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