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I was the headmaster for a boarding school at Houghton-le-Spring, a coal mining area near Durham, England.

I published a table of all the prime numbers less than 60,000.

I determined the natural logarithms of 2, 3, 5 and 10 to 137 places.

I am best known for my calculation of pi to 707 decimal places in 1873, using the formula:

pi/4 = 4 arctan(1/5) - arctan(1/239).

Unfortunately, the mathematician Ferguson proved in 1944 that I had made an error in my approximation for pi in the 528th place.


These clues are designed for students to use as they try to figure out the identity of the mystery mathematician. Based on a weekly cycle, the suggested approach is for a teacher to give students one new clue per day. The following week, the mathematician's name, photo, and further information will be available in the archive.