James Millar

Biography of James Millar

James Millar (1762-1831) was Professor of Mathematics at the University from 1796 to 1831. He was Clerk of Senate from 1815 until 1820.

Millar was the son of the University's Professor of Civil Law, John Millar and the brother-in-law of James Mylne, Professor of Moral Philosophy. After obtaining an MA degree he became assistant to James Williamson, the University's Professor of Mathematics, who was finding the teaching of Mathematics too onerous but who retained his house and salary. While in this post, Millar also lectured occasionally on the Law of England. Williamson died in 1795 and Millar was appointed to his chair the following year.


The new professor struggled for many years to bring Maths into the regular curriculum for the MA degree and to improve teaching, in which he was said to have a genuine interest although he was remembered as being "subject to mental distraction and had little control over his students." He endured a period of ill-health and his assistant William Ramsay (later Professor of Humanity) shouldered much of his teaching burden from 1829. He eventually resigned in 1831, retaining his salary but not his College house for a few months before his death.


James Millar

Born 1762.
Died 1831.
University Link: Clerk of Senate
Occupation categories: mathematicians
Record last updated: 13th Jun 2008

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