The early history of Gresham College

Wilson, Robin (2009). The early history of Gresham College. In: AMS-MAA Joint Winter Meeting, 5-8 Jan 2009, Washington DC, USA.



The Gresham Chair of Geometry is the oldest mathematics professorship in England, being founded in 1596, after Sir Thomas Gresham left instructions in his will for the founding of a college at which free lectures in seven subjects would be given to interested members of the general public. Four hundred years on, this is still the case.

This talk outlines the first one hundred years of the college, and describes the geometry professors during this period, including Henry Briggs (co-inventor of logarithms), Isaac Barrow (first Lucasian professor in Cambridge) and Robert Hooke. It also outlines the founding of the Royal Society, which was intimately associated with Gresham College, and was based there, for the its first fifty years. (Received September 09, 2008)

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