Colin Maclaurin

Colin McLaurin

1698 (Kilmodan, Scotland) – 1746 (Edinburgh)

A leading figure of the Scottish Enlightenment, Maclaurin’s work in geometry and algebra had him compared to the leading continental mathematicians of his time; he was also an inspiring teacher (and a professor aged only 19). Halley invited him to London, where he also met Newton (whose helpful friendship Maclaurin described as the greatest honour and happiness of his life). He corresponded extensively with Clairaut, and also with Campbell, Monro and Stirling – both Monro and Stirling were friends, though Stirling’s strong Jacobite leanings put them on opposite sides when Maclaurin led the defence of Edinburgh.

Colin Maclaurin knew…