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William Jones Essay

939 words - 4 pages

William Jones was born in London England on September 28, 1746 his father’s name was William, he was a mathematician who was a friend of Sir Isaac Newton. His father died only three years after his son’s birth. His father left his family with a lot of money so his mother put it toward her son’s education. The family was poor and William attended a charity school at Llanfechell. After he graduated from that school Jones entered University College, Oxford in 1764; he studied oriental languages like Arabic, Hebrew, French, and Italian. He was a hyperpoly who is someone possessing fluent understanding of more than 6 languages. Jones earned his bachelor of art degree in 1768 he had already became a well-known orientalist despite the fact that he was only 22. He received his arts degree from Oxford on June 18, 1773 for financial reasons Jones also began studying law.
William's mother was Elizabeth Rowland who was from Llanddeusant in the island of Anglesey. William was born on a farm in Anglesey and the family moved to Llanbabo on Anglesey, then moved again after the death of William's father. There his mathematical talents were spotted by the local landowner who arranged for him to be given a job in London working in a merchant's counting-house. This job saw Jones serving at sea on a voyage to the West Indies, and he taught mathematics and navigation on board ships. Jones left the navy and became a teacher of mathematics in the coffee houses of London. Through lecturing in the coffee houses, Jones came in contact with leading scientists. Jones acquired his mathematical papers. These included transcripts of Newton's manuscripts, letters and results obtained with the method of infinite series which Newton had discovered in about 1664.
The European Renaissance brought with it a whole new mathematical world, as an effect the first mathematical formula for Pi. The only difficulty in trying to figure out Pi was and still is the boredom of continuing to try and calculate it out. Mathematicians devoted a lot of time and effort to try and calculate Pi. One of these mathematicians called Shanks calculated Pi to 707 places in 1873 soon after his calculations another mathematician called De Morgan found that Shanks had made an error in the 528th place after all his digits were wrong. In 1949 a computer was used to calculate Pi to 2000 places.
It was found that the Egyptians took (4(8/9)2=3.16 to be the value of pi. The first theoretical calculations have been carried out by Archimedes (287-212 BC). He obtained the approximation: 223/71 < Pi < 22/7. Various people also computed Pi including:
Ptolemy (150 AD)
Tsu Chung Chi (430-501 AD0
Al Khawarizmi (800)...

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