Biography of Robert Simson
The Simson Chair of Mathematics was founded in 1955 and named for Robert Simson (1687-1768), Professor of Mathematics at the University from 1711 until 1761.
Born in West Kilbride, Simson was educated at the University and graduated MA. A distinguished classical scholar, he chose to pursue studies in Mathematics and in 1711 was appointed to the vacant Chair at the University. He became best known for his studies of the works of the ancient Greek geometers. The Simson Line of a triangle is named for him, although he did not discover it.
Simson was the first holder of the office of Clerk of Senate at the University, a position he held from 1728 until 1762. He bequeathed his large collection of books, mainly relating to Mathematics and Astronomy, to the University.