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William Ringdon Clifford

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CLIFFORD, WILLIAM RINGDON, F.ILS., late prof. of applied mathematics and mechan ics at University college, London, and one of the foremost mathematicians of his time, was b. at Exeter, 4, 1845. He was educated at a school in his native town, at King's college, London. and at Trinity college, Cambridge. While at Trinity, he did not con fine himself to examination subjects, but read largely in the great mathematical and was second wrangler in the mathematical tripos of 1867. At this time, while excel ling in gymnaStics, he would also solve and propound problems in the pages of the Erin cationa Times, and could discuss with ease complicated theorems of solid geometry without the aid of paper or diagram. A high-churchman at first. C. before taking his degree threw off all conventional restraints, and eagerly discussed some of the religious questions of the day. In Aug., 1871, he was elected to the chair of mathematics and mechanics at college, London, which post he retained until his untimely death at Madeira, Mar. 3, 1879. C. first established his reputation as an original thinker

with the faculty of expressing_, scientific thought in plain and simple language by a lec ture at the royal institution, On Some of the 'Conditions Of Mental Development. Fie was a valued member of the London mathematical society, contributing to the Proceedings; for a time he acted as secretary, and afterwards vice-president of the mathematical and physical section of the British association; he also lectured to the Sunday lecture society on such subjects as Ether Atoms; and the Sun's Place in the Universe. The versatility of his mind for philosophical and scientific discussion was further shown by his varied con tributions to periodical literature. Besides these articles, be issued the first part of a larger text-book, Elements of Dynamics (1878).—See C.'s Lectures and Essays, edited by Leslie Stephen and F. Pollock, 1879.