ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
William Oughtred (1575-1660), English mathematician, holding a book. Oughtred was educated at Eton College and later at Cambridge University, England. He was ordained as a priest in 1603. His clerical post gave him time to work on mathematics. In 1631 he published the Clavis mathematicae (the key to mathematics). Oughtred also introduced a number of mathematical symbols, such as the 'x' for multiplication and the sin and cos notation for trigonometry. He also invented the circular slide rule and the rectilinear slide rule.
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