James Whitbread Lee Glaisher
James Whitbread Lee Glaisher
|Born||5 November 1848|
|Died||7 December 1928 (aged 80)|
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Cambridge|
|Known for||Glaisher's theorem|
James Whitbread Lee Glaisher FRS FRSE FRAS (5 November 1848, Lewisham – 7 December 1928, Cambridge), son of James Glaisher and Cecilia Glaisher, was a prolific English mathematician and astronomer. His large collection of (mostly) English ceramics was mostly left to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.
He won a Campden Exhibition Scholarship allowing him to study at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was second wrangler in 1871 and was made a Fellow of the college. Influential in his time on teaching at the University of Cambridge, he is now remembered mostly for work in number theory that anticipated later interest in the detailed properties of modular forms. He published widely over other fields of mathematics.
Glaisher was elected FRS in 1875. He was the editor-in-chief of Messenger of Mathematics. He was also the 'tutor' of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (tutor being a non-academic role in Cambridge University). He was president of the Royal Astronomical Society 1886–1888 and 1901–1903. When George Biddell Airy retired as Astronomer Royal in 1881 it is said that Glaisher was offered the post but declined.
He lived in a set of rooms at Trinity College. He died there on 7 December 1928.
He was a keen cyclist but preferred his penny-farthing to the newer "safety" bicycles. He was President of Cambridge University Cycling Club 1882 to 1885. He was a keen collector of English Delftware and other popular English pottery, much of it then below the notice of other collectors. The university indulged him by allowing him a room of the Fitzwilliam Museum to house his personal collection. He also amassed a collection of some 1,600 valentines, which he bequeathed to the museum.
- Honorary doctorate (DSc) from the University of Dublin in 1892
- Honorary doctorate (DSc) from Manchester University in 1902
- Winner of the London Mathematical Society's De Morgan Medal in 1908
- Winner of the Royal Society's Sylvester Medal in 1913
Glaisher published many papers and was editor and contributor to both the Messenger of Mathematics and the Quarterly Journal of Mathematics.
- Garfinkle, Robert A. (2014). "Glaisher, James Whitbread Lee". In Hockey, Thomas; Trimble, Virginia; Williams, Thomas R. (eds.). Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. New York: Springer Publishing. pp. 818–819. doi:10.1007/978-1-4419-9917-7_523. ISBN 978-1-4419-9917-7.
- Turner, Herbert Hall (1929). "James Whitbread Lee Glaisher". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 89 (4): 300–308. Bibcode:1929MNRAS..89..300.. doi:10.1093/mnras/89.4.300. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
- Hunt, John L. (1996). "J. W. L. Glaisher, FRS, ScD (1848–1928)". Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society. 37 (4): 743–757. Bibcode:1996QJRAS..37R.743H. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
- "Glaisher biography".
- "James Whitbread Lee Glaisher (GLSR866JW)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- "Glaisher, James Whitbread Lee". Who's Who. Vol. 59. 1907. p. 686.
- "Obituary Notices: Fellows:- Glaisher, James Whitbread Lee". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 89 (4): 300. February 1929. Bibcode:1929MNRAS..89..300.. doi:10.1093/mnras/89.4.300.
- Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0-902-198-84-X.
- R. Virag. Valentines: Highlights from the Collection at The Fitzwilliam Museum. Cambridge: 2018.
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