Isaac Todhunter

From Academic Kids

Isaac Todhunter (November 23, 1820 - March 1, 1884), was an English mathematician.

The son of George Todhunter, a Nonconformist minister, he was born at Rye, Sussex. He was educated at Hastings, where his mother had opened a school after the death of his father in 1826. He became an assistant master at a school at Peckham, attending at the same time evening classes at the University College, London. In 1842 he obtained a mathematical scholarship and graduated as B.A. at London University, where he was awarded the gold medal on the M.A. examination. About this time he became mathematical master at a school at Wimbledon.

In 1844 he entered St John's College, Cambridge, where he was senior wrangler in 1848, and gained the first Smith's prize and the Burney prize; and in 1849 he was elected to a fellowship, and began his life of college lecturer and private tutor. In 1862 he was made a fellow of the Royal Society, and in 1865 a member of the Mathematical Society of London. In 1871 he gained the Adams prize and was elected to the council of the Royal Society. He was elected honorary fellow of St John's in 1874, having resigned his fellowship on his marriage in 1864. In 1880 his eyesight began to fail, and shortly afterwards he was attacked with paralysis.

Works

  • Treatise on the Differential Calculus and the Elements of the Integral Calculus (1852, 6th ed., 1873)
  • Treatise on Analytical Statics (1853, 4th ed., 1874)
  • Treatise on the Integral Calculus (1857, 4th ed., 1874)
  • Treatise on Algebra (1858, 6th ed., 1871)
  • Treatise on Plane Coordinate Geometry (1858, 3rd ed., 1861)
  • Plane Trigonometry (1859, 4th ed., 1869)
  • Spherical Trigonometry (1859)
  • History of the Calculus of Variations (1861)
  • Theory of Equations (1861, 2nd ed. 1875)
  • Examples of Analytical Geometry of Three Dimensions (1858, 3rd ed., 1873)
  • Mechanics (1867)
  • History of the Mathematical Theory of Probability from the Time of Pascal to that of Lagrange (1865)
  • Researches in the Calculus of Variations (1871)
  • History of the Mathematical Theories of Attraction and Figure of the Earth from Newton to Laplace (1873)
  • Elementary Treatise on Laplace's, Lame's and Bessel's Functions (1875)
  • Natural Philosophy for Beginners (1877).

An unfinished work, The History of the Theory of Elasticity, was edited and published posthumously in 1886 by Karl Pearson. Todhunter also published keys to the problems in his textbooks on algebra and trigonometry; and a biographical work, William Whewell, account of his writings and correspondence (1876), in addition to many original papers in scientific journals.

See obituary notices in the Proc. Land. Math. Soc. (1884), and Proc. Roy. Soc. (1884).

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