Edmund Taylor Whittaker

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Whittaker, Edmund Taylor


Born Oct. 24, 1873, in Southport, Lancashire; died Mar. 24,1956, in Edinburgh. British mathematician. Fellow of the Royal Society of London (1905).

Whittaker studied at Cambridge University from 1891 to 1896. From 1912 to 1946 he was a professor at the University of Edinburgh. He was a member and, from 1939 to 1944, president of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His main works dealt with the theory of special functions. Together with G. N. Watson, Whittaker wrote the well-known monograph A Course of Modern Analysis (two parts, 1902; Russian translation, 2nd ed., 1963), which contains a concise survey of mathematical analysis and a rather complete exposition of the theory of the most important special functions. Whittaker was the author of a number of textbooks, particularly on the theory of interpolation and the theory of optical instruments, and of books on the history and philosophy of science.


Aitken, A. C. “Sir Edmund Whittaker.” Nature, 1956, vol. 177, no. 4512.