Simpson, Thomas

Simpson, Thomas
SUBJECT AREA: Ports and shipping
b. 20 August 1710 Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, England
d. 14 May 1761 Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, England
English mathematician and author ofSimpson's Rules.
Despite domestic difficulties, Simpson managed to study and teach mathematics and allied subjects throughout his life. His interest in celestial phenomena was aroused by the solar eclipse of 1724. Around 1736 he started to work in London as a weaver, teaching mathematics in his spare time. The genius of his prolific work was recognized and various honours came his way, culminating in his appointment in 1743 to the Chair of Mathematics at the Royal Academy, Woolwich. In that same year he published a paper relating to "the means of approximating the areas of curves, by means of equidistant ordinates". This method, now known as Simpson's first and second rules, enabled engineers to calculate areas under curves and volumes bounded by shapes made up of a regular envelope of curves. Shipbuilders and naval architects were to find this one of the greatest developments in the history of ship design.
Principal Honours and Distinctions
FRS 1745. Member of the Royal Academy of Stockholm 1740.

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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