William Jones and Pi

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William Jones is a famous mathematician the created, and was the first to use, pi. William was born on a farm in Anglesey, then later moved to Llanbabo on Anglesey, then moved again after the death of William's father. He attended a charity school at Llanfechell. There his mathematical talents were spotted by the local landowner who arranged for him to be given a job in London. His job was in a merchant’s counting house. This job had Jones serving at sea on a voyage to the West Indies. He taught mathematics and navigation on board ships between 1695 and 1702. He was serving on a navy vessel which. Navigation was a topic which greatly interested Jones and his first published work was “A New Compendium of the Whole Art of Navigation” It was published in 1702, the year he came back from the voyage. In his book, he applied mathematics to navigation, studying methods to calculate position at sea.

Soon he was employed to tutor Philip Yorke, who was later to become Baron Hardwicke of Hardwicke. This was an important position for Jones since Yorke, after a legal career, entered parliament becoming a solicitor general in 1720, an attorney general in 1724, a lord chief justice in 1733, and a lord chancellor 1737. Jones tutored Yorke for about three years. He published “Synopsis Palmariorum Mathesios” in 1706. The book was based on his teaching notes intended for beginning mathematicians. It included the differential calculus, infinite series, and also famed since the pi symbol is used with its modern meaning. In 1709 he applied for a position in the Christ's Hospital Mathematical School. He supplied references from Isaac Newton and Edmond Halley. He did not get the position, so he continued lecturing in coffee houses.

He was unsucce...

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...mbers does not reduce from Jones's achievement in recognizing that the ratio of the circumference to the diameter could not be expressed as a rational number.

Jones married Mary Nix on April 17, 1731 she was 25 and Jones was 56. They had three children two of which made it to adulthood. William Jones died on July 1st 1749 in London, England.

Works Cited

"William Jones." History Today. N.p., 2012. Web. 17 Dec. 2013.

"Mental_Floss." William Jones The First math Teacher To Use Pi. N.p., 2012. Web. 17 Dec. 2013.

"Encyclopedia of World Biography." William Jones Biography. N.p., 2012. Web. 17 Dec. 2013.

"Tripod." History of Pi. N.p., 2012. Web. 17 Dec. 2013.

O' Connor, J.J. "William Jones." N.p., 5 Feb. Web. 1 Jan

West, Beverly H., et al., eds. The Prentice-Hall Encyclopedia of Mathematics. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc , 1982. Print.
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