Mary Somerville's Early Contributions to the Circulation of Differential Calculus

Stenhouse, Brigitte (2020). Mary Somerville's Early Contributions to the Circulation of Differential Calculus. Historia Mathematica, 51 pp. 1–25.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hm.2019.12.001

Abstract

In 1831, with the publication of her translation of Laplace’s <i>Mecanique Celeste</i>, Mary Somerville (1780--1872) solidified her reputation throughout Western Europe as a highly proficient mathematician, and an expert in `French analysis’. To shed light on her preliminary studies, we here examine Somerville’s earliest known mathematical work, namely her published and unpublished solutions to questions posed in the <i>New Series of the Mathematical Repository<i>, alongside her contemporary correspondence with mathematicians John and William Wallace. These submissions demonstrate her active engagement in the circulation of the differential calculus twenty years earlier than previously appreciated.

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