### The History of Mathematics at Greenwich

### The History of Mathematics at Greenwich

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Greenwich has been a centre for scientific computing since the foundation of the Royal Observatory in 1675. Early Astronomers Royal gathered astronomical data with the purpose of enabling navigators to compute their longitude at sea. Nevil Maskelyne in the 18th century organised the work of computing tables for the Nautical Almanac, anticipating later methods used in safety-critical computing systems. The 19th century saw influential critiques of Charles Babbage’s mechanical calculating engines, and in the 20th century Leslie Comrie and others pioneered the automation of computation. The arrival of the Royal Naval College in 1873 and the University of Greenwich in 1999 has brought more mathematicians and different kinds of mathematics to Greenwich. In the 21st century computational mathematics has found many new applications. This book presents an account of the mathematicians who worked at Greenwich and their achievements.

Features

• A scholarly but accessible history of mathematics at Greenwich, from the seventeenth century to the present day, with each chapter written by an expert in the field

• The book will appeal to astronomical and naval historians as well as historians of mathematics and scientific computing.

**Introduction**

*Raymond Flood and Tony Mann*

**Chapter 1: The King’s Observatory at Greenwich and the first Astronomers Royal: Flamsteed to Bliss**

*Allan Chapman*

**Chapter 2: Greenwich, Nevil Maskelyne and the solution to the Longitude Problem**

*Mary Croarken*

**Chapter 3: George Biddell Airy, Greenwich and the Utility of Calculating Engines**

*Doron D. Swade*

**Chapter 4: The Royal Observatory 1881 – 1998**

*Tony Mann*

**Chapter 5: Mathematics Education at The Greenwich Royal Hospital School**

*Bernard de Neumann*

**Chapter 6: The Royal Naval College**

*Tony Mann*

**Chapter 7: Thomas Archer Hirst at Greenwich, 1873 – 1883**

*Robin Wilson and J. Helen Gardner*

**Chapter 8: A Professor at Greenwich: William Burnside and his contributions to mathematics**

*Peter M. Neumann*

**Chapter 9: The Nautical Almanac Office and L.J. Comrie: Mechanising Mathematical Tablemaking at Greenwich**

*Mary Croarken*

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**Chapter 10: Artful Measures: Mathematical Instruments at the National Maritime Museum**

*Richard Dunn*

Chapter 11: The University of Greenwich at the Old Royal Naval College

Noel-Ann Bradshaw and Tony Mann

Chapter 12: The Mathematical Tourist at Greenwich

Tony Mann