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John Napier

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This free course looks at Scotsman John Napier, best known to for his treatise on Protestant religion. However, it was his interest in a completely different subject that radically altered the course of mathematics. After 40 years of dabbling in maths, he revealed his table of logarithms in the early 17th century.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand the significance of John Napier's contributions to mathematics
  • give examples of the factors that influenced Napier's mathematical work.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 3 hours
  • Updated Tuesday 15th March 2016
  • Intermediate level
  • Posted under Mathematics
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John Napier


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This course provides an overview of John Napier and his work on logarithms. It discusses his approach to this lasting invention and looks at the key players who worked with him, including Briggs, Wright and Kepler.

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 2 study in Mathematics [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

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