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Seòmar agus comataidhean

300-year Anniversary of Mathematician Robert Simson’s Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society

  • Submitted by: Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North, Scottish National Party.
  • Date lodged: Wednesday, 01 November 2023
  • Motion reference: S6M-11034

That the Parliament celebrates the 300th anniversary of the first published writings of West Kilbride-born mathematician, Robert Simson; is aware that Simson was born on 14 October 1687 and entered the University of Glasgow at the age of 14, where he distinguished himself in classics, oriental languages, theology and botany; acknowledges that Simson turned to mathematics, with a focus on geometry, and became the University's Chair of Mathematics in 1711 after a spell in London, where he met eminent mathematicians such as Edmond Halley; further acknowledges that Simson had a keen interest in the works of classic mathematicians, and wrote new editions and commentaries on older works, with his first work on Euclid's Porisms being published in 1723 in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society; recognises that, today, Simson is best known for his work on Fibonacci numbers and the "Simson line", which is the name given to the pedal line of a triangle, and notes that Simson died on 1 October 1768, and is remembered by a large octagonal monument designed by Frederick Thomas Pilkington in West Kilbride cemetery, the town in which he was born and where a street is also named in his honour.

Supported by: Karen Adam, Clare Adamson, Jeremy Balfour, Colin Beattie, Miles Briggs, Alexander Burnett, Stephanie Callaghan, Maggie Chapman, Pam Duncan-Glancy, Annabelle Ewing, Murdo Fraser, Pam Gosal, Christine Grahame, Emma Harper, Bill Kidd, John Mason, Roz McCall, Ivan McKee, Stuart McMillan, Audrey Nicoll, Mark Ruskell, Kevin Stewart, Paul Sweeney, David Torrance, Evelyn Tweed, Tess White, Martin Whitfield