A lover of paradoxes

The Renaissance Mathematicus

As I have probably mentioned more than once I served my apprenticeship as a historian of science working in a research project on the history of formal or symbolic logic. My special area within the project was British logical algebra in the 19th century and it was here that I took a long deep look at Augustus De Morgan who was born in Maduria in the Madras Presidency, an administrative sub-division of British India on the 27th June 1806. De Morgan was a brilliantly eclectic polymath with a Pythonesque sense of humour who both from his personality and from his appearance seemed to spring out of Charles Dickens’ Pickwick Papers, a mathematical second cousin to Sam Weller. De Morgan is my favourite Victorian.

De_Morgan_Augustus Augustus De Morgan Source: Wikimedia Commons

Son of an army officer in the service of the East India Company he moved to England whilst only…

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