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Encyclopedia > James Joseph Sylvester
James Joseph Sylvester
James Joseph Sylvester

James Joseph Sylvester (September 3, 1814 London - March 15, 1897 Oxford) was an English mathematician. 19th century photograph This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... 19th century photograph This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... September 3 is the 246th day of the year (247th in leap years). ... 1814 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... The Houses of Parliament and the clock tower containing Big Ben Part of the London skyline viewed from the South Bank London is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom. ... March 15 is the 74th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (75th in Leap years). ... 1897 (MDCCCXCVII) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Oxford is a city and local government district in Oxfordshire, England, with a population of 134,248 (2001 census). ... Royal motto (French): Dieu et mon droit (Translated: God and my right) Englands location within the British Isles Official language English de facto Capital London de facto Largest city London Area – Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population – Total (mid-2004) – Total (2001 Census) – Density Ranked 1st UK... This article is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...


Sylvester was born "James Joseph" but adopted the surname "Sylvester" when his older brother did so. His brother was emigrating to the United States, a country which at that time required all immigrants to have a given name, a middle name, and a surname. Sylvester began his study of mathematics at St John's College, Cambridge in 1831 and was ranked second in Cambridge's famous mathematical examinations, the tripos. Yet he did not obtain a degree, because graduands at that time were required to state their acceptance of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England, and Sylvester declined to do so because he had been raised Jewish. In 1838 Sylvester became professor of natural philosophy at University College London UCL. In 1841, he was awarded a BA and an MA by Trinity College, Dublin. In the same year he moved to the United States to become a professor at the University of Virginia but soon returned to England. Full name The College of Saint John the Evangelist of the University of Cambridge Motto Named after The Hospital of Saint John the Evangelist, Cambridge, named after John the Evangelist Previous names Incorporates part of what was Merton Hall which no longer exists Established 1511 Sister College(s) Balliol College... Map of the Cambridgeshire area (1904) The city of Cambridge is an old English university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire. ... 1831 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... The University of Cambridge, England, divides the different kinds of honours bachelors degree by Tripos, a word which has an obscure etymology, but which may be traced to the three-legged stool candidates once used to sit on when taking oral examinations. ... The Thirty-Nine Articles are the defining statements of Anglican doctrine. ... The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England, and acts as the mother and senior branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, as well as a founding member of the Porvoo Communion. ... UCL may refer to University College London, in England Université catholique de Louvain, in Belgium Ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction. ... take you to calendar). ... A Bachelor of Arts (B.A. or A.B., from the Latin Artium Baccalaureus) is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for a course or program in the arts and/or sciences. ... A masters degree is an academic degree usually awarded for completion of a postgraduate or graduate course of one to three years in duration. ... The College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin or more commonly Trinity College, Dublin was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, and is the only constituent college of the University of Dublin, Irelands oldest university. ... Website Virginia. ... Royal motto (French): Dieu et mon droit (Translated: God and my right) Englands location within the British Isles Official language English de facto Capital London de facto Largest city London Area – Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population – Total (mid-2004) – Total (2001 Census) – Density Ranked 1st UK...


On his return to England he studied law, alongside fellow British lawyer/mathematician Arthur Cayley, with whom he made significant contributions to matrix theory while working as an actuary. One of his private pupils was Florence Nightingale. He did not obtain a position teaching university mathematics until 1855, when he was appointed professor of mathematics at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, from which he retired in 1869, because the compulsory retirement age was 55. Arthur Cayley (August 16, 1821 - January 26, 1895) was a British mathematician. ... Matrix theory is a branch of mathematics which focuses on the study of matrices. ... Actuaries are business professionals who deal with the financial impact of risk. ... 1855 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... The Royal Military Academy was founded in 1741 in Woolwich, south-east London. ...


In 1877 Sylvester again crossed the Atlantic Ocean to become the inaugural professor of mathematics at the new Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. In 1878 he founded the American Journal of Mathematics, the first American mathematical journal. 1877 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... The Johns Hopkins University is a private institution of higher learning located in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. ... This article is about the city in the US state of Maryland. ... 1878 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ...


In 1883, he returned to England to take up the Savilian Professor of Geometry at Oxford University. He held this chair until his death, although in 1892 the University appointed a deputy professor to the same chair. 1883 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... The Savilian Chair of Geometry is the position of professor of mathematics at the University of Oxford in England. ... The University of Oxford, located in the city of Oxford in England, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. ... 1892 (MDCCCXCII) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ...


Sylvester invented a great number of mathematical terms such as the totient function φ(n). His collected scientific work fills four volumes. In 1880, the Royal Society of London awarded Sylvester the Copley Medal, its highest award for scientific achievement; in 1901, it instituted the Sylvester Medal in his memory, to encourage mathematical research. In number theory, the totient φ(n) of a positive integer n is defined to be the number of positive integers less or equal than n and coprime to n. ... 1880 (MDCCCLXXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... The premises of the Royal Society in London. ... The Copley Medal is a scientific award for work in any field of science, the highest award granted by the Royal Society of London. ... 1901 (MCMI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... The Sylvester Medal is a bronze medal awarded every three years by the Royal Society for the encouragement of mathematical research. ...


Sylvester House, an undergraduate dormitory at Johns Hopkins, is named in his honor.


Bibliography

Primary:

  • 1904-10. Collected Mathematical Papers in 4 vols. Edited by H. F. Baker. New York.
  • 1839. "On rational derivation from equations of coexistence, that is to say, a new and extended theory of elimination, Part I," Philos. Mag. 15: 428-435.
  • 1857. "On the partition of numbers," Quart. J. Math. I: 141-152.
  • 1869. "Presidential address to Section A of the British Association" in Ewald, William B., ed., 1996. From Kant to Hilbert: A Source Book in the Foundations of Mathematics, 2 vols. Oxford Uni. Press: 511-22.
  • 1897. "Outlines of seven lectures on the partition of numbers," Proc. Lond. Math. Soc. 28: 33-96.

Secondary:

  • Franklin, Address Commemorative of Sylvester, (Baltimore, 1897)

See also

In number theory, the prime number theorem (PNT) describes the approximate, asymptotic distribution of the prime numbers. ... In mathematics, the coin problem, is a famous problem which can be stated as follows: Given n positive integers: , such that gcd(a1,..., an)=1 find the largest number N that cannot be expressed as , for (non-negative) integers . ... In mathematics, a Sylvester matrix is a matrix associated to two polynomials that gives us some information about those polynomials. ... Bertrands postulate states that if n>3 is an integer, then there always exists at least one prime number p with n < p < 2n-2. ... The Sylvester–Gallai theorem asserts that given a finite number of points in the plane, either All the points are collinear; or There is a line which contains exactly two of the points. ... In linear algebra, Sylvesters law of inertia states that the inertia of a matrix A is invariant under congruence transformations. ...

External links

  • MacTutor archive: J. J. Sylvester.

  Results from FactBites:
 
James Joseph Sylvester - LoveToKnow 1911 (346 words)
JAMES JOSEPH SYLVESTER (1814-1897), English mathematician, was born in London on the 3rd of September 1814.
Three years later he was appointed professor of mathematics in the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, stipulating for an annual salary of $5000, to be paid in gold.
Sylvester's work suffered from a certain lack of steadiness and method in his character.
James Joseph Sylvester - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (485 words)
Sylvester began his study of mathematics at St John's College, Cambridge in 1831 and was ranked second in Cambridge's famous mathematical examinations, the tripos.
In 1877 Sylvester again crossed the Atlantic Ocean to become the inaugural professor of mathematics at the new Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
In 1880, the Royal Society of London awarded Sylvester the Copley Medal, its highest award for scientific achievement; in 1901, it instituted the Sylvester Medal in his memory, to encourage mathematical research.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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