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Andrew Russell Forsyth (18 June 1858, Glasgow – 2 June 1942, South Kensington) was a Scottish mathematician.

Andrew Forsyth studied at Liverpool College and was tutored by Richard Pendlebury before entering Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating senior wrangler in 1881.[1] He was elected a fellow of Trinity and then appointed to the chair of mathematics at the University of Liverpool at the age of 24. He returned to Cambridge as a lecturer in 1884 and became Sadleirian Professor of Pure Mathematics in 1895. He resigned his chair in 1910 after an affair with Marion Amelia Boys, the wife of C. V. Boys, who divorced her husband to marry him: this was unacceptable in Edwardian Cambridge. He became professor at the Imperial College of Science in 1913 and retired in 1923, remaining mathematically active into his seventies. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1886 and won its Royal Medal in 1897.

He is now remembered much more as an author of treatises, than as an original researcher. His books have, however, often been criticized (for example by J. E. Littlewood, in his Mathematician's Miscellany). E. T. Whittaker was his only official student, according to the Mathematical Genealogy site.


* A Treatise on Differential Equations (1885)
* Theory of Functions of a Complex Variable (1893)
* Geodesics on an oblate spheroid(1895-96)
* Theory of Differential Equations (1890-1906) six volumes
* Lectures on the Differential Geometry of Curves and Surfaces (1912)
* Lectures Introductory to the Theory of Functions of Two Complex Variables(1914)
* Calculus of Variations (1927)
* Geometry of Four Dimensions (1930)
* Intrinsic Geometry of Ideal Space (1935)


1. ^ Forsyth, Andrew Russell in Venn, J. & J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press, 10 vols, 1922–1958.

* E. T. Whittaker, "Andrew Russell Forsyth. 1858-1942", Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society 4 (1942) pp. 209–227

External links

* O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Andrew Forsyth", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews, http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Forsyth.html .
* Andrew Forsyth at the Mathematics Genealogy Project


Mathematics Encyclopedia

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