Maclaurin, Colin

Maclaurin, Colin

(məklôr`ĭn, –lär`ĭn), 1698–1746, Scottish mathematician and natural philosopher, one of the greatest mathematicians of his time. He was professor at Aberdeen and from 1725 at the Univ. of Edinburgh. He was an authority on fluxions (as Newton's version of the calculuscalculus,
branch of mathematics that studies continuously changing quantities. The calculus is characterized by the use of infinite processes, involving passage to a limit—the notion of tending toward, or approaching, an ultimate value.
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 was called), on Newton's gravitational theory, and on geometry. He also contributed to astronomy, cartography, and did actuarial computation for insurance companies. His writings include Geometria organica (1720) and A Treatise on Fluxions (1742).

Maclaurin, Colin

 

Born 1698 in Kilmodan, Argyll; died June 14, 1746, in Edinburgh. Scottish mathematician. Member of the Royal Society of London (1719). Student of I. Newton.

Maclaurin’s mathematical studies dealt with analysis (the theory of series, the calculus of finite differences) and the theory of higher degree plane curves. A number of his studies were devoted to mechanics, in particular, to the equilibrium of a heavy rotating liquid and the attraction of a homogeneous ellipsoid of revolution on a heavy point.

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