Robert Edgar Allardice


Born: 2 March 1862 in Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: 6 May 1928 in Palo Alto, California, USA


Robert Allardice's parents were Isabella Edgar Laing and John Allardice. He studied mathematics at the University of Edinburgh, where he first matriculated in 1897, and was awarded an M.A. in 1882 having been placed as the top student in his year in mathematics. He continued to undertake research in mathematics at the University.

In 1883 Allardice was appointed as Assistant to the Professor of Mathematics at the University of Edinburgh, the professor being George Chrystal. He remained in this post until 1892 when he was appointed Professor of Mathematics at Leland-Stanford Junior University, California, USA. The University, now known as Stanford University, was opened by the railroad magnate Leland Stanford and his wife, Jane Lathrop, in the year before Allardice took up his professorship there. He remained at Stanford University until he retired after which he continued to live in Palo Alto, California.

Allardice was a founder member of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society, joining in February 1883. He served on the committee of the Society from its foundation. He was Vice-President of the Society from 1889 to 1890, President of the Society in session 1890-91, and Editor of Proceedings of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society in session 1891-92, his final year in Edinburgh. He published around twenty papers in the Proceedings of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society during the first ten years of the Society. For example at the meeting held on Friday 14 March 1884 he read a paper on the geometry of the spherical surface; at the meeting on Friday 8 January 1886 he discussed a problem of symmetry in an algebraical function; on 11 February 1887 he communicated a note on a theorem in algebra; on 11 January 1889 he contributed a note on a formula in quaternions; on 13 December 1889 he discussed some theorems in the theory of numbers; on 13 November 1891 his paper Barycentric Calculus of Möbius was read by John Alison; on 14 December 1901 his paper Four Circles Touching a Common Circle was communicated to the meeting by Mr George Duthie; and on 13 January 1911 his paper On the envelope of the directrices of a system of similar conics through three points was communicated by E D Williamson.

Robert Edgar Allardice was elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 16 January 1888, his proposers being George Chrystal, Peter Guthrie Tait, Robert M Ferguson, John Sturgeon Mackay.

An obituary, written by E M Horsburgh, appears in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Volume 48, 1927-28, 209-10.
We give a version of this obituary at THIS LINK.


Article by: J J O'Connor and E F Robertson

November 2007
MacTutor History of Mathematics
[http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Allardice.html]