William John Macquorn Rankine

(1820 - 1872 / Scotland)

William John Macquorn Rankine
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William J. Macquorn Rankine was born in Edinburgh on July 5th. He trained in the Edinburgh University as an engineer under Sir J. B. Macneill. He spent most of his schooling working on surveys, harbors and railroads. This training paid off, and at the age of 35 Rankine was appointed to the chair of civil engineering in Glasgow. He began to write, usually only subjects directly connected with his chair, but then branching out farther. He contributed weekly to the technical journals, such as The Engineer, and put out a series of textbooks on civil engineering, the steam-engine and other prime movers, etc. He also came to publish elaborate treatise called Shipbuilding, Theoretical and ... more »

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Best Poem of William John Macquorn Rankine

The Mathematician In Love


A mathematician fell madly in love
With a lady, young, handsome, and charming:
By angles and ratios harmonic he strove
Her curves and proportions all faultless to prove.
As he scrawled hieroglyphics alarming.


He measured with care, from the ends of a base,
The arcs which her features subtended:
Then he framed transcendental equations, to trace
The flowing outlines of her figure and face,
And thought the result very splendid.


He studied (since music has charms for the fair)
The theory of fiddles and ...

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