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Henry Savile
Henry Savile

The position of Savilian Professor of Geometry was established at the University of Oxford in 1619. It was founded (at the same time as the Savilian Professorship of Astronomy) by Henry Savile (pictured), a mathematician and classical scholar who was Warden of Merton College, Oxford, and Provost of Eton College, reacting to what has been described by one 20th-century mathematician as "the wretched state of mathematical studies in England" at that time. He appointed Henry Briggs as the first professor. There have been 20 professors; Frances Kirwan, the current and first female holder of the chair, was appointed in 2017. The post has been held by a number of distinguished mathematicians. Briggs helped to develop the common logarithm, described as "one of the most useful systems for mathematics". The third professor, John Wallis, introduced the use of for infinity, and was regarded as "one of the leading mathematicians of his time". (Full list...)

Today's featured picture

Southern plains grey langur

The southern plains gray langur (Semnopithecus dussumieri) is a species of Old World monkey native to the Indian subcontinent. It is about 62 cm (24 in) tall and lives in groups in various forest habitats, feeding mainly on leaves, fruit and flowers in the canopy, supplementing these with insects, gum, grasses, herbs and roots. The monkeys are considered sacred in India, and some are used by Hindu priests for religious purposes. They have adapted to living in close proximity to humans in urban settings; they are often fed by humans and accept cakes, millet, and other foods. The species is protected by law in India, but some are still persecuted for damaging crops, hunted for food and captured for pets.

This photograph of a female southern plains gray langur was taken in Kanha Tiger Reserve, in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The park was created on 1 June 1955 and was designated a tiger reserve in 1973.

Photograph credit: Charles J. Sharp

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