Entrance hall of the ICMSEdinburgh's Mathematical Past

Edinburgh's rich history contains many mathematical and scientific highlights. ICMS' postion in the city centre places us close to many of the landmarks associated with that past. Between 1994 and 2010 we were actually based in one of notable locations in that history.  We've always been keen to engage our visiting delegates and the local community with Edinburgh's mathematical history by devising walking tours and arranging site visits. When the School of Mathematics at the Unversity of Edinburgh comissioned a maths history map mural for their MathHub we collaborated with Dr Jonan Martens and artist Sophie Powell-Hall to create a leaflet version for our visitors.  You can see the mural and lots more of Sophie's work on her website.

The finite size of the leaflet means there's a lot more to find out about all the locations and people mentioned in it.  We've put this webpage together to show you how to track down more about which ones intersted you.  These lists will be expanded but can't ever hope to be completely comprehensive.  If you want to suggest additional resources, please email Madeleine Shepherd at ICMS.

People from Edinburgh's mathematical past

Name Resources
Michael Atiyah

Atiyah 80+

Charles Glover Barkla

Nobel Foundation biography

Thomas Bayes


Max Born

Nobel Foundation Biography

William Hodge


John Law


Dusa McDuff


Colin Maclaurin


Chrystal MacMillan

 Dictionary of National Biography entry

James Clerk Maxwell


John Napier


John Playfair


John Scott Russell


Dugald Stewart


James Stirling


Peter Guthrie Tait


D'arcy Wentworth Thompson


James Watt


Edmund Whittaker



Places from Edinburgh's mathematical past

[under construction - more links coming soon]

Name Resources
14 India Street

James Clerk Maxwell Foundation

Edinburgh Academy

Maxwell's old school named their new science building after him

Union Canal


Merchiston Tower
Royal Society of Edinburgh
Maxwell Statue
Greyfriars Kirkyard
ICMS, 15 South College Street
George Square
Calton Hill
Palace of Holyrood House
Old College
Hodge's house (15 Granby Road)
Samson's Ribs
Lauriston Castle
Heriot-Watt University
Hermitage House