Arthur Cayley Facts and Biography

Arthur Cayley

Biography Summary: Arthur Cayley (1821 - 1895) was famous for founding the British school of pure mathematics. As a student in Trinity College, Cambridge he also excelled in French, Italian, German and Greek. He married when he moved back to Cambridge and his marriage was by all accounts a very happy one.

He had a very profitable legal business but when the opportunity arose to teach and continued to study the subject he was most interested in and gave him the satisfaction of doing something for future generations he simply had no choice, even though the remuneration was far less than his law practice offered.

Arthur Cayley Fact Sheet: Who was Arthur Cayley? The following short biography and fact sheet provides interesting facts about the life, times and history of Arthur Cayley.


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Arthur Cayley Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1821 - 1895 *** Full Name: Arthur Cayley *** Occupation: British Mathematician *** Date of Birth: Arthur Cayley was born on August 16th 1821 *** Place of Birth: Arthur Cayley was born in Richmond, London, England *** Family background: His father was Henry Cayley and he was a distant cousin of Sir George Cayley and his mother was Maria Antonia Doughty. He had a brother, Charles Bagot Cayley, who was a linguist *** Early life and childhood: He grew up in St Petersburg in Russia until he was eight years old although he had been born in England *** Education: Arthur Cayley attended private schools as a child until he reached fourteen when he was sent to attend Kingís College School ***

Arthur Cayley Fact 1: Arthur Cayley was born on August 16th 1821 and during the 19th century period in history when slavery would largely become abolished during this century with salve revolts in Britain, Haiti and France. In particular in America the Civil War of 1861 to 1864 saw the abolition of slavery and in England the Slavery Abolition Act saw the British Royal Navy put an end to the global slave trade.

Arthur Cayley Fact 2: While attending King's College it was noted by the schoolís master that Arthur was giving indications of being a mathematics genius. He strongly advised George Cayley to educate his son for further education and not for follow in his fatherís footsteps.

Arthur Cayley Fact 3: At seventeen years he went to Trinity College, Cambridge.

Arthur Cayley Fact 4: Gregory and Robert Leslie Ellis and created the Cambridge Mathematical Journal and at just twenty years old Arthur had contributed three papers to the publication.

Arthur Cayley Fact 5: While attending Cambridge his private coach was William Hopkins and his tutor was George Peacock. He completed his undergraduate course and won the place of Senior Wrangler as well as the first Smithís prize.

Arthur Cayley Fact 6: To follow that he needed to earn his M.A. degree and he won a Fellowship by competitive examinations.

Arthur Cayley Fact 7: For four years he would reside at Cambridge University and while he was there he occasionally took on pupils but largely he concentrated on preparing the memoirs to the Mathematical Journal.

Arthur Cayley Fact 8: Due to the restricted tenure of his fellowship he still had to decide on a career and his chose law. He entered Lincolnís Inn in London when he was twenty five years old and would specialize in Conveyancing.

Arthur Cayley Fact 9: During the time he was at the bar as a pupil that he travelled to Dublin and heard Hamiltonís lectures on quaternions.

Arthur Cayley Fact 10: Five years his senior, J.J. Sylvester, with who he had attended Cambridge and who at that time was an actuary, often walked together around the courts at Lincolnís Inn and talked extensively about the theory of invariants and covariants.

Arthur Cayley Fact 11: It was also during this period of time which spanned fourteen years that he produced upwards of three hundred papers.

Arthur Cayley Fact 12: Lucasian was the denomination of pure mathematics that was prevalent at Cambridge University and a professorship that had been held by Isaac Newton. However, in 1860 Lady Sadleir had bequeathed a sum of money to the University but because the original purpose was no longer available, the money was put towards another professorship for pure mathematics and this would be called Sadleirian. The professor taking on this role would be required ďto explain and teach the principles of pure mathematics and to apply himself to the advancement of that science.Ē.

Arthur Cayley Fact 13: This was the position Cayley was offered when he was forty two years old having given up a profitable legal practice for a very modestly paid professorship but it was not a difficult choice considering his passion for mathematics.

Arthur Cayley Fact 14: He married and moved with his wife to Cambridge to take up his professorship and he was very happily married.

Arthur Cayley Fact 15: His mathematics lectures were only attended by relatively small numbers of people.

Arthur Cayley Fact 16: In 1872 he was given the honor of an honorary fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge in Cambridge and followed three years later by being made an ordinary fellow which included a stipend.

Arthur Cayley Fact 17: By 1883 he was made the President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.

Arthur Cayley Fact 18: The Cambridge University Press requested that he put together his papers for publication which he did in 1889.

Arthur Cayley Fact 19: Arthur Cayley died on January 26th 1895 at the age of seventy four years. His body was laid to rest in the Mill Road Cemetery in Cambridge.

Influence & Legacy: His legacy is in the numerous mathematical terms named in his honour which are in common use today.

List of Awards given to Arthur Cayley:  Smithís Prize (1842) *** De Morgan Medal (1884) *** Royal Medal (1859) *** Copley Medal (1852) ***

Short Facts about Arthur Cayley for Kids
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