Stokes' mathematical education

Barrow-Green, June (2020). Stokes' mathematical education. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 378(2174)



George Gabriel Stokes won the coveted title of Senior Wrangler in 1841, a year in which the examination papers for the Cambridge Mathematical Tripos were notoriously difficult. Coming top in the Mathematical Tripos was a notable achievement but for Stokes it was a prize hard won after several years of preparation, and not only years spent at Cambridge. When Stokes arrived at Pembroke College, he had spent the previous two years at Bristol College, a school which prided itself on its success in preparing students for Oxford and Cambridge. This article follows Stokes’s path to the senior wranglership, tracing his mathematical journey from his arrival in Bristol to the end of his final year of undergraduate study at Cambridge.

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