Article ID: CBB001213656

Polylogarithms, Functional Equations and More: The Elusive Essays of William Spence (1777--1815) (2013)


The little-known Scottish mathematician William Spence was an able analyst, one of the first in Britain to be conversant with recent continental advances, and having original views. His major work on logarithmic transcendents gives the first detailed account of polylogarithms and related functions. A theory of algebraic equations was published just after his early death; and further essays, edited by John Herschel, were published posthumously. The most substantial of these concern an extension of his work on logarithmic transcendents, and the general solution of linear differential and difference equations. But awareness of Spence's works was long delayed by their supposed unavailability. Spence's life, the story of his lost publications, and a summary of all his essays are here described.

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Authors & Contributors
Craik, Alex D. D.
Gladstone-Millar, Lynne
Ferraro, Giovanni
Simmons, Charlotte
Cameron, K. J.
Alexander, Amir R.
British Society for the History of Mathematics Bulletin
Historia Mathematica
Archive for History of Exact Sciences
American Mathematical Monthly
Chinese Journal for the History of Science and Technology
Osmanli Bilimi Arastirmalari: Studies in Ottoman Science
National Museums of Scotland Publishing
Abertay Historical Society
Harvard University Press
American Mathematical Society
Edition am Gutenbergplatz Leipzig
El Colegio de Mexico
Functions (mathematics)
Napier, John
Gauss, Carl Friedrich
Galois, Évariste
Prony, Gaspard Clair François Marie Riche, Baron de
Sang, Edward
Boole, George
Time Periods
19th century
17th century
18th century
20th century, early
20th century
British Isles
Great Britain
University of St. Andrews
Imperial University of Peking
Astronomical Bureau (China)

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