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William Brouncker

(c. 1620—1684) mathematician and first president of the Royal Society of London


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philosophy of mathematics

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(1620–1685) English mathematician and experimental scientist

Brouncker graduated from Oxford University in 1647 with a degree in medicine. He held a variety of official posts, including serving as member of parliament and president of Gresham's College. He was a friend of the eminent mathematician John Wallis and his own most notable work was also in mathematics. He was a founder and first president of the Royal Society (1662–77) and as such carried out experimental work. Brouncker usually contented himself with solving problems arising from the work of other mathematicians rather than doing creative work himself but was the first to use continued fractions. He was a friend of Samuel Pepys and frequently figures in Pepys's Diary. Apart from science, he had a lively interest in music.

Subjects: Philosophy — Science and Mathematics.


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