Colin Maclaurin

Colin Maclaurin:
Colin Maclaurin was said to be “…a kindly and approachable man…” He contributed to astronomy, cartography, and did actuarial computation for insurance companies.
Background Information:
Colin was born in Kilmodan, Argyllshire, February 1698. When his father died six weeks after his birth, his mother moved her and her two sons to Dumbarton where the boys would be able to attend school and have a good education. Colin attended Glasgow University at age eleven which was not unusual for young men in Scotland at the time.

At the age of 19, Colin was elected a professor at the University of Aberdeen. He taught there for a few years. Then, without notice, decided to tour around Europe for two years with a friend. After returning to discover that the University was very displeased with Colin’s actions, he decided to try to become a joint professorship with James Gregory at the University of Aberdeen. Newton, a friend of Colin, supported him personally and financially. Newton even sent him a letter and wrote:
"I am very glad to hear that you have the prospect of being joined with Mr James Gregory in the Professorship of Mathematics at Edinburgh, not only because you are my friend, but principally because of your abilities, you being acquainted as well with the improvements of Mathematics as with the former state of those sciences. I heartily wish you good success, and shall be very glad to hear of your being elected."

Colin began his appointment to the University of Edinburgh November 3, 1725 where he spent the rest of his career. The Treatise of Fluxions was the first logical and systematic exposition of the method of fluxions. In this book, Colin gave a proof of the theorem that:

\begin{align} % MathType!MTEF!2!1!+- % feqaeaartrvr0aaatCvAUfeBSjuyZL2yd9gzLbvyNv2CaerbuLwBLn % hiov2DGi1BTfMBaeXatLxBI9gBaebbnrfifHhDYfgasaacH8srps0l % bbf9q8WrFfeuY-Hhbbf9v8qqaqFr0xc9pk0xbba9q8WqFfea0-yr0R % Yxir-Jbba9q8aq0-yq-He9q8qqQ8frFve9Fve9Ff0dmeaabaqaciGa % caGaaeqabaaaamaaaOqaaiaadAgacaGGOaGaamiEaiaacMcacqGH9a % qpcaWGMbGaaiikaiaaicdacaGGPaGaey4kaSIaamiEaiaadAgacaGG % NaGaaiikaiaaicdacaGGPaGaey4kaSIaaiikamaalaaabaGaamiEam % aaCaaaleqabaGaaGOmaaaaaOqaaiaaikdacaGGHaaaaiaacMcacaWG % MbGaai4jaiaacEcacaGGOaGaaGimaiaacMcacqGHRaWkcqGHflY1cq % GHflY1cqGHflY1caGGUaaaaa!50D3! \[ f(x) = f(0) + xf'(0) + (\frac{{x^2 }}{{2!}})f''(0) + \cdot \cdot \cdot . \] \end{align}

Colin's cheif works include Geometria Organica, which he published in 1720 while at Aberdeen. De in 1742, he published Treatise on Fluxions, which was “the first systematic exposition of Newton's methods”. Colin also wrote Algebra, and Account of Newton’s Discoveries, Linearum Geometricarum Proprietatibus,

He died in 1746 in Edinburgh and was “buried in Greyfriars Church where his grave can still be seen at the south-west corner”.

Works Cited
(November 1999). School of Mathematics and Statistics University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Retrieved February 20, 2008, from Colin Maclaurin Web site:

Rouse Ball, W. W. (1908). A Short Account of the History of Mathematics. Retrieved February 23, 2008, from Colin Maclaurin Web site:

Colin Maclaurin. (2008). Colin Maclaurin. In Columbia Encyclopedia [Web]. EBSCO Industries, Inc. Retrieved February 16, 2008, from

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