History of Mathematics at Manchester

This School was formed in 2004 by the merger of the mathematics departments of the Victoria University of Manchester and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST). The merger brought together two schools that were of similar size and academic strength. Find out more about our current research and staff, or how to study at the School.

Many famous mathematicians have worked in both schools and their achievements set a standard for us today. 

 

Lewis Fry Richardson (1881-1953)

Lewis Fry Richardson

Lewis Fry Richardson devised a method for the numerical solutions of differential equations by using finite difference in conjunction with the technique now known as Richardson extrapolation.

This led to his seminal work on numerical weather prediction and his classic book Weather Prediction by Numerical Process.

Richardson's working life was as varied and eclectic as his interests, and included periods in industry, the Meteorological Office and several Universities and Colleges. He worked at the Manchester College of Technology from 1912 to 1913 and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1926. After retirement Richardson spent the rest of his life pioneering a mathematical study of the causes of war. He is noted for his studies of atmospheric turbulence, and the 'Richardson number' is named after him. His posthumous publication on the problem of contiguity proved to be influential in research on fractals.

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