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Colin Maclaurin was a Scottish mathematician who made important contributions to geometry and algebra. The Maclaurin series, a special case of the Taylor series, is named after him.

Maclaurin also made significant contributions to the gravitation attraction of ellipsoids, a subject that furthermore attracted the attention of d'Alembert, A.-C. Clairaut, Euler, Laplace, Legendre, Poisson and Gauss. Maclaurin showed that an oblate spheroid was a possible equilibrium in Newton's theory of gravity. The subject continues to be of scientific interest, and Nobel Laureate Subramanyan Chandrasekhar dedicated a chapter of his book Ellipsoidal Figures of Equilibrium to Maclaurin spheroids.

Independently from Euler and using the same methods, Maclaurin discovered the Euler–Maclaurin formula. He used it to sum powers of arithmetic progressions, derive Stirling's formula, and to derive the Newton-Cotes numerical integration formulas which includes Simpson's rule as a special case.

Maclaurin contributed to the study of elliptic integrals, reducing many intractable integrals to problems of finding arcs for hyperbolas. His work was continued by d'Alembert and Euler, who gave a more concise approach.

In his Treatise of Algebra (Ch. XII, Sect 86), published in 1748, two years after his death, Maclaurin proved a rule for solving square linear systems in the cases of 2 and 3 unknowns, and discussed the case of 4 unknowns. This publication preceded by two years Cramer's publication of a generalization of the rule to n unknowns, now commonly known as Cramer's rule.

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Colin Maclaurin was a Scottish mathematician who made important contributions to geometry and algebra. The Maclaurin series, a special case of the Taylor series, is named after him.

Maclaurin also made significant contributions to the gravitation attraction of ellipsoids, a subject that furthermore attracted the attention of d'Alembert, A.-C. Clairaut, Euler, Laplace, Legendre, Poisson and Gauss. Maclaurin showed that an oblate spheroid was a possible equilibrium in Newton's theory of gravity. The subject continues to be of scientific interest, and Nobel Laureate Subramanyan Chandrasekhar dedicated a chapter of his book Ellipsoidal Figures of Equilibrium to Maclaurin spheroids.

Independently from Euler and using the same methods, Maclaurin discovered the Euler–Maclaurin formula. He used it to sum powers of arithmetic progressions, derive Stirling's formula, and to derive the Newton-Cotes numerical integration formulas which includes Simpson's rule as a special case.

Maclaurin contributed to the study of elliptic integrals, reducing many intractable integrals to problems of finding arcs for hyperbolas. His work was continued by d'Alembert and Euler, who gave a more concise approach.

In his Treatise of Algebra (Ch. XII, Sect 86), published in 1748, two years after his death, Maclaurin proved a rule for solving square linear systems in the cases of 2 and 3 unknowns, and discussed the case of 4 unknowns. This publication preceded by two years Cramer's publication of a generalization of the rule to n unknowns, now commonly known as Cramer's rule. More...

 
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