Mathematician:William Oughtred

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English mathematician credited with the invention of the slide rule.

Also credited with inventing a circular version although precedence for this was disputed with his student Richard Delamain.

Experimented with notations in his famously compact writings, inventing some new symbology which stuck, notably $\times$, $\sin$ and $\cos$.

Among others, he may have been influential in the introduction of the symbol $\pi$ for pi, using an abbreviation for the Greek word for periphery (that is, περιφέρεια).

His invention of $\times$ for multiplication came in for criticism from Leibniz for being too similar to the letter $x$. Leibniz's preference $\cdot$ is now widespread.




  • Born: 5 March 1574, Eton, Buckinghamshire, England
  • Died: 30 June 1660, Albury, Surrey, England



but beware of the mistake in the year of birth