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Great Mathematician


Emeritus-Professor Edward John Nanson, a distinguished mathematician, who   was best known for his work In connection with electoral systems, died yesterday in a private hospital in Malvern. He was aged 85 years.

Born in England on December 13, 1850, at Penrith, Cumberland, in the Lakes District,


Professor Nanson received his     early education at Penrith     and Ripon Grammar schools. Thence he went to Trinity   College, Cambridge, where he had a brilliant career.     He graduated as Master of Arts, with a minor and   foundation scholarship, became second wrangler in

1873 and a Fellow of Trinity College in the following year. He accepted the Chair of Applied Mathematics at the Royal Indian Engineering College, Cooper's Hill, in the same year, but resigned in 1875 to become Professor of Mathematics at the University of Melbourne. He held this position for nearly 50 years, and on his resignation in 1922 was granted the title of Emeritus Professor.

Throughout his career Professor Nanson was a keen advocate of electoral reform,   and he evolved a system of proportional   voting which is in use in certain   University elections. His publications   include "Methods of Election" ("Proceed- ings of the Royal Society of Victoria," 1882), and many mathematical papers and articles on electoral reform in different journals. In early life he was a keen bushman, and he did much exploratory work in the mountainous country of Victoria, particularly In the Healesville district   in the 'seventies and 'eighties.  

Professor Nanson was twice married. His first wife was Elizabeth, elder daughter of the late Canon McMichael, of Ripon, who died in 1004. There were six children, one son and five daughters, of the marriage. In 1913 he married Mavourneen, second daughter of the late Mr. Warwick Wetten- hall. The children of the second marriage were four daughters.  

Professor Nanson was a member of a group of very distinguished professors who laid the foundations of scholarship in this University. Among the others who with him built up the high reputation of the Melbourne University were Sir Baldwin Spencer, Sir Harry Allen, and Sir Harri cellor (Professor D. B. Copland).  

The funeral will leave the chapel of A. A. Sleight Pty. Ltd., in Flinders street, at 2.30 p.m. to-day, for the St. Kilda Cemetery.