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CHILDHOOD & EDUCATION
James Gregory was born in a small town just outside of Aberdeen, called Drmoak, Scotland. When he was little James suffered from quartan fever for a year and a half. Because of the fever he was afflicted with fevers in 72 hour intervals. His mother introduced basic math and geometry at a very young age. Gregory was home schooled untill his fater, a wealthy minister, died when James was about 13 years old. After his father died, his older brother, David, sent him to grammar school in Aberdeed. After finishing grammar school James attended Marischal College, Aberdeen University.
Shortly after college he began to study optics and the construction of telescopes, and wrote his first book, Optica Promota ^1. In 1663 James went to London where he published Optica Promota, which discussed topics such as lenses, mirrors, reflection and refraction, paralax and transits. Optica Promota also discussed Gregory's most famous invention, the reflective telescope. It later became known and the Gregorian Telescope. However, at the time the telescope was only discussed because the mirror polishers could not polish the mirrors properly, so it was never auctually made untill after Gregory's death. He laso invented the feflective burning mirror. In 1664 James went to Puda, Italy and studied under Stefano degli Angeli in geometry, mechanics, and astronomy. While he was there, the published two more worksVera circuli et hyperbolae in which James showed how to compute logarithms by finding the areas of inscribed parallelograms between a hyperbola and its asymptotes, thus leading to the term "hyperbolic logarithms" in 1667. ^2 And Geometriae para universalis where he attempted to prove that the (little shape thingy that i cant type ...looks like a n mixed with pi) and e are transcendual, unfortunatly, his arguments contained a subtle error which was published in 1668, right before he left Italy for London.
In 1668, he was elected as a member of the Royal Society of London. James was appointed the chair professor of mathematics at the University of St. Andrewsin 1669 where he greatly improved the mathematics department. He bought instruments such as clocks, astrolabes, and an armillary spere, he also planned an observatory. However, the masters of the university began to dislike Gregory's new teachings.
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In 1674, James was invited to teach at Edinghburgh University. He accepted and was the first person to hold Chair of Mathematics and also was appointed professor of mathematics of that year. Unfortuanatly, he died before he could begin his teaching career at Edinburgh of a stroke while observing Jupiter and its moons though one of his telescopes with some of his students. The stroke blinded him and he died a few days later.
1.JJ O'Connor and EF Robertson JAMES GREGORY, internet
2. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, HISTORICAL TOPICS FOR THE MATHEMATICS CLASSROOM (Reston the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Inc. 1989) p. 154
A HISTORY OF MATHEMATICS; James Gregory, Gregory's series, p. 385-386, 1983
GREAT MOMENTS IN MATHEMATICS AFTER 1650, Like Opening and Closing a Door, p.35, 1991
FROM 5 FINGERS TO INFINITY, The Newthon-Lebiniz Controversy Concerning the Discovery of Calculus, Mathematical Responses to a Mechanistic World Outlook, pp. 500, 511
HISTORICAL TOPICS FOR THE MATHEMATICS CLASSROOM, Computation, The Number, The Calculus, pp.114, 115, 154, 309, 393
James Gregory, online.Internet, 10/04/2003. http://www.-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Gregory.html
*some cosmetic editing is needed-> everyting that is in all caps needs to be unerlined, possible spelling mistakes too, sorry...i'm tired