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By Napier’s bones! A new exhibition celebrating the inventor of logarithms

Put away your calculators – the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh has announced that it will host an exhibition all about John Napier to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the publication of his treatise on logarithms, Mirifici Logarithmorum Canonis Descriptio.

Napier’s pioneering work on logarithms offered simple and elegant solutions to previously laborious and error-prone calculations; enabling more calculations to be completed in an hour than had previously been completed in one day. From the introduction of the decimal point to the development of slide rules and ‘Napier’s rods’, this exhibition will explore how Napier’s revolutionary innovations advanced and influenced mathematics from the 17th Century to the modern day.

Power of Ten will run from 28 March to 6 July, and entry is free.

More information

National Museums Scotland Exhibitions for 2014
John Napier to tax modern minds 400 years on, in The Scotsman
A translation of Mirifici Logarithmorum Canonis Descriptio by Ian Bruce
Event page at Edinburgh Napier University

via GHS Mathematics Department on Twitter

Turing Round Up


Today is the 100th anniversary of Alan Turing’s birth. Turing did not just one but several hugely important things during his life, none of which were properly appreciated while he lived or for a long time after he died. In the run up to his centenary, a campaign to make people aware of Turing and the enormous impact he made on so many fields, and most importantly to clear his reputation, has been more successful than anyone could have hoped. Turing is now rightly recognised as one of the greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century, as a victim of persecution, and as a war hero.

The Turing Centenary campaign has been so successful that we’ve decided there’s no need for us to write a biography of Turing, or to highlight some obscure thing he did, or really anything. Literally hundreds of pieces have been written, by some of the greatest writers and thinkers in the world, covering every detail of Turing’s life from his school days to his more obscure mathematical work, up to the circumstances leading to his suicide.

So instead, we’ve collected together some of the best exposition, reporting, and creative expression we’ve found to commemorate the life of Alan Turing.

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