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Пишет ded_maxim ([info]ded_maxim)
@ 2008-06-30 08:26:00

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жизнь замечательных людей
Thomas Simpson (August 20, 1710 – May 14, 1761) was a British mathematician, inventor and eponym of Simpson's rule to approximate definite integrals. However, this rule was also found 200 years earlier from Johannes Kepler, in the so-called de:Keplersche Fassregel. Simpson was born in Market Bosworth, Leicestershire. The son of a weaver, Simpson taught himself mathematics, then turned to astrology after seeing an solar eclipse. He also dabbled in divination and caused fits in a girl after 'raising a devil' from her. After this incident, he and his wife had to flee to Derby. They later moved to London.

From 1743, he taught mathematics at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich.

Apparently, the method that became known as Simpson's rule was well known and used earlier by Bonaventura Cavalieri (a student of Galileo) in 1639, later rediscovered by James Gregory, and was only attributed to Simpson.

Details of Simpson's personal life are not plentiful. Simpson's successor as professor of mathematics at the Woolwich Academy, Charles Hutton, offered an interesting, if apologetic, hint: "It has been said that Mr. Simpson frequented low company, with whom he used to guzzle porter and gin: but it must be observed that the misconduct of his family put it out of his power to keep the company of gentlemen, as well as to procure better liquor."
(From Stephen Stigler, The History of Statistics: The Measurement of Uncertainty Before 1900)