David Jack


Born: 7 August 1896 in Scarfskerry, Caithness, Scotland
Died: 25 March 1975 in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland

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David Jack attended Thurso High School, Caithness, and completed his education there in 1914. From there went to the University of Edinburgh but soon after this World War I started. At first he was able to continue with his studies and, for example, he was awarded a First Class Certificate in the Second Ordinary Class in Mathematics at the University of Edinburgh taught by Lester R Ford in June 1915. However, after this Jack's undergraduate years were interrupted with two years of military service. He returned to university after his war service and graduated with an M.A. with First Class Honours in Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in 1920. In the same year he obtained a B.Sc.

After graduating, Jack began research in physics at Edinburgh University under George Carse. He spent session 1923-24 at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, U.S.A. where he was appointed as Associate Professor of Mathematics. He returned to Scotland in 1924 when appointed as a Carnegie Teaching Fellow in the Natural Philosophy Department at the University of St Andrews. He was promoted to Lecturer in 1930 and then Reader in 1948. He lectured to me [EFR] in 1961-62 when I took the General Class in Natural Philosophy at St Andrews. He retired in 1963.

Jack was a member of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society, joining in December 1920 immediately after graduating from Edinburgh with his first degree. He was also a fellow of the Institute of Physics and a member of the St Andrews Preservation Society. He was elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 3 March 1930, his proposers being Herbert Stanley Allen, Herbert Westren Turnbull, William Saddler, Charles Glover Barkla.

An obituary, written by E T Copson, appears in the Royal Society of Edinburgh Year Book 1976, pages 54-55.
We give a version of this obituary at THIS LINK.

David Jack married Isabel Grace Jack in 1927; they had two sons.

Article by: J J O'Connor and E F Robertson


A Reference (One book/article)

Mathematicians born in the same country

Additional Material in MacTutor

  1. Obituary: RSE

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JOC/EFR November 2007
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School of Mathematics and Statistics
University of St Andrews, Scotland

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