Colin Maclaurin, born in Kilmodan, Argyll, was a Scottish mathematician who made important contributions to geometry and algebra. The 'Maclaurin series', a special case of the 'Taylor series', is named after him.
At the age of eleven, Colin Maclaurin entered the University of Glasgow, graduating with the degree of MA three years later with a thesis on the Power of Gravity. He remained at Glasgow to study divinity until he was 19, when he was elected Professor of Mathematics at the Marischal College in the University of Aberdeen.
Maclaurin taught a 3-year course from elementary to advanced mathematics, beginning with arithmetic and Euclid, and working up to the Principia and the method of fluxions. He also taught experimental philosophy, surveying, fortification, geography, theory of gunnery, astronomy, and optics. He wrote his A Treatise of Algebra at this time and for use in his courses, although it did not appear in print until after his death.
Scope and Contents
The Colin Campbell Collection contains Gaelic verse, mainly songs; sermon notes and scripture expositions, the earliest being 1703; manuscript treatises; Colin Campbell correspondence, the earliest being 1664; miscellaneous manuscripts including domestic accounts, medical papers, minutes etc; notebooks, accounts, letters and scraps of Patrick Campbell of Achnaba; letters from mathematicians to Colin Campbell, and mathematical papers; a body of accounts, the earliest being 1553; a body of...