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MacLaurin, Colin, 1698-1746 (mathematician)



  • Existence: 1698-1746

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.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Student manuscript copy of Colin MacLaurin's Treatise of Algebra

Identifier: Coll-1812
Content Description These are manuscript lecture notes on algebra... notes of 'A Treatise of Algebra' by Colin MacLaurin. Although the writer is unknown (a student?), the ms volume bears a label... an armorial Melville bookplate... possibly that of Robert Saunders Dundas, 2nd Viscount Melville.The volume is noted...: 'A Treatise of Algebra by Mr McLaurin Professor of Mathematics in the University of Edinburgh. part 1. 1735'.The last five pages are 'Concerning the Art of Measuring Land'. MacLaurin's...
Dates: 1735