[ Eric Harold Neville, mathematician. ] Autograph Letter Signed ('E. H. Neville') to 'Sir Dundas' [i.e. Sir Richard Dundas Harington ]

E. H. Neville [ Eric Harold Neville ] (1889-1961), English mathematician, of Trinity College Cambridge and the University of Reading, who convinced Srinivasa Ramanujan to come to England
Publication details: 
On letterhead of The Copse, Sonning on Thames. 26 October 1944.
SKU: 19977

See W. J. Langford's glowing obituary of Neville (described as 'the greatest of them all' from a pedagogical point of view) in the Mathematical Gazette, May 1964. 2pp., 12mo. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. He begins by reassuring Harington that his books are 'safely here', but continues: 'I fear that every book I possess on numerical equations is on duty for the time being in the computing department of one of the RAF establishments.' He does not know of 'any book which gives an account of the processes actually used nowadays. The fundamental principle is always the same - a first approximation, followed by some iterative process by which any desired order of accuracy can be reached. Theoretically the ideal process for finding a first approximation is Graeffe's root-squaring process, but in practice each problem is apt to throw up a mass of equations for which some particular trick can be found.' He ends by comparing the process to 'elementary multiplication'. In a postscript he points Harington to a paper of his in the Mathematical Gazette, which has 'the gist of the matter in it'. From the Harington family papers, the recipient being Sir Richard Dundas Harington, 13th Baronet (1900-1981).