James Joseph Sylvester

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Sylvester, James Joseph


Born Sept. 3, 1814, in London; died there Mar. 15, 1897. English mathematician.

Sylvester graduated from Cambridge University in 1837. He was a professor at the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich from 1855 to 1870 and at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore (USA) from 1876 to 1883. In 1883 he became a professor at Oxford University. Sylvester’s principal work was in algebra, number theory, probability theory, mechanics, and mathematical physics. His most important investigations dealt with the theory of invariants and its geometric applications. In 1878 he founded the first American mathematical journal, The American Journal of Mathematics. Sylvester became a foreign corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences in 1872.


The Collected Mathematical Papers, vols. 1–4. Cambridge, 1904–12.
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English mathematician James Joseph Sylvester (1814-1897) made significant contributions to matrix theory, invariant theory, number theory, and combinatorics and was a founder of the American Journal of Mathematics.