Harriot, Thomas(hâr`ēət), 1560–1621, English mathematician and astronomer. He was tutor to Sir Walter RaleighRaleigh or Ralegh, Sir Walter
, 1554?–1618, English soldier, explorer, courtier, and man of letters. Early Life
As a youth Raleigh served (1569) as a volunteer in the Huguenot army in France.
..... Click the link for more information. , who sent him in 1585 to Virginia as surveyor with Sir Richard GrenvilleGrenville, Sir Richard,
1542?–1591, English naval hero. His cousin, Sir Walter Raleigh, gave him command of the fleet of seven vessels carrying the first colonists to Roanoke Island in 1585.
..... Click the link for more information. . Returning to England, Harriot wrote A Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia (1588), one of the earliest known large-scale statistical surveys. He made valuable contributions to algebra, introducing new symbols and notation. His Artis analyticae praxis appeared in 1631.
See biography by M. Rukeyser (1971).
Born 1560 in Oxford; died July 2, 1621, in London. English mathematician.
In The Practice of Analytical Art (1631, published posthumously), Harriot introduced the signs > (greater than) and < (less than), used small letters to represent numbers, formulated equations based on this usage, found an expression for the area of spherical triangles, and did other important work.