The Severn Bridge, crossing to Wales from England

    William Jones, mathematician from Anglesey, North Wales

    William Jones

    Sir William JonesA noted mathematician, published author and early naval navigator. First to use 'Pi' (1706) as a mathematical symbol.

    He was a friend of Isaac Newton and Edmund Halley. Father of William Jones the philologist who identified the Indo-European language group which connects many early languages (Sanskrit, Greek, Latin - even Welsh) together.

    Connection: Born in Llanfihangel Tre'r Beirdd.

    The following video is from the University College London featuring Patricia Rothman (UCL Mathematics)  lecturing on William Jones.

    The UL website goes on to say "William Jones was important in his lifetime primarily for three things: he was the first person to use the Greek letter π in its modern sense; he had acquired such a significant archive of manuscripts that he was appointed to the Royal Society committee, to investigate the invention of calculus; and he was influential as communicator in a network of mathematicians, astronomers and natural philosophers in the early eighteenth century."


    comment by:alwynap
    Vice President of the FRS.



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    Tags: Anglesey