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David Gregory

(1659—1708) mathematician and astronomer


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The fourth of twenty-nine children, David Gregory was born in Upper Kirkgate, Aberdeen on 3 June 1659 and died in England on 10 October 1708. His father, also David, was the elder brother of the mathematician James Gregory, and himself an avid mathematician. After attending a local Grammar School in 1671 the son entered Marischal College, Aberdeen, where he stayed until he returned home in 1675. Over the next few years Gregory pursued his mathematical studies in private, undoubtedly assisted by his father. In early 1680 he travelled to Holland to continue his studies, proceeding a few months later to Paris. It was during this Continental trip that Gregory embarked in a serious manner on a study of Cartesian mathematics and natural philosophy. He returned home in summer 1681 via London, where he stayed until assuming the Professorship of Mathematics at Edinburgh in October 1683. His first publication appeared the following year in the form of Exercitatio geometrica de dimensione figurarum, a reworking and updating of some of his uncle's results.

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From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.


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