James Gregory (or Gregorie) (1638-1675) was born at the Manse of Drumoak, 11 miles from Aberdeen. He was a student at Aberdeen Grammar School and Marischal College. He developed the idea of the Gregorian reflecting telescope here, describing it in his Optica promota (1663), but could not get one made, even in London.
His nephew David Gregory (1659-1708) was born in Upper Kirkgate, Aberdeen. He studied at Aberdeen Grammar School and went to Marischal College at age 12, being there 1671-1675, though there is no evidence of his taking a degree. (There will be more Gregory under Edinburgh, Oxford individuals, Maidenhead and St Andrews!)
Colin Maclaurin (1698-1746) was appointed professor of mathematics at Marischal College in 1717, at the age of 19. Sir Edward Wright told me that Maclaurin never took up the post, but Tweedie's biography shows that he taught diligently until 1722 when he accompanied a Mr Hume (the son of Lord Polwarth) on a European tour for the long vacation which was extended for three years, though he didn't request leave from the University. Hume died and Maclaurin returned about the turn of 1724/1725 and was reinstated in April 1725. However, later that year he accepted a post in Edinburgh, moving there in November 1725. In Jan 1726, his chair at Aberdeen was declared vacant and he resigned from it.
G. P. Thomson (1892-1975) was professor of natural philosophy 1922-1930, during which time he demonstrated the wave diffraction of electrons (1927), for which he won the Nobel Prize in 1937.
E. M. (Sir Edward) Wright (of 'Hardy and Wright') was professor and Principal of the University for many years until his retirement in the 1970s.
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An extract from The Mathematical Gazetteer of the British Isles created by David Singmaster
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