Lucasian Professor of Mathematics

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The incumbent of the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics, usually called the Lucasian Professor, is the holder of a mathematics professorship at the University of Cambridge, England. It is widely regarded as one of the world's most prestigious academic posts. The post was founded in 1663 by Henry Lucas, who was Cambridge University's Member of Parliament from 1639–1640, and was officially established by King Charles II on January 18, 1664.


History of the Chair

Lucas, in his will, bequeathed his library of 4,000 volumes to the university and left instruction for the purchase of land whose yielding should provide £100 a year for the founding of a professorship[1]. One of the stipulations in Lucas' will was that the holder of the professorship should not be active in the church. Isaac Newton later appealed to King Charles II that this requirement excused him from taking holy orders, which was compulsory for most fellows of the university at that time (some fellowships were exempt). The King supported Newton, and excused all holders of the professorship, in perpetuity, from the requirement to take holy orders.

The current holder of the post is the theoretical physicist Michael Green. He was appointed in October 2009[2], succeeding Stephen Hawking who retired in September 2009, in the year of his 67th birthday, as required by the University.[3][4] Hawking now holds the position of Emeritus Lucasian Professor of Mathematics.

List of Lucasian Professors

See also



  • Kevin Knox and Richard Noakes, From Newton to Hawking: A History of Cambridge University's Lucasian Professors of Mathematics ISBN 0-521-66310-5

Isaac Barrow (1664) · Isaac Newton (1669) · William Whiston (1702) · Nicholas Saunderson (1711) · John Colson (1739) · Edward Waring (1760) · Isaac Milner (1798) · Robert Woodhouse (1820) · Thomas Turton (1822) · George Biddell Airy (1826) · Charles Babbage (1828) · Joshua King (1839) · George Stokes (1849) · Joseph Larmor (1903) · Paul Dirac (1932) · James Lighthill (1969) · Stephen Hawking (1979) · Michael Green (2009)

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