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Hudde, Jan

1. Dates
Born: Amsterdam, April or May 1628. He was baptized on 23 May.
Died: Amsterdam, 15 April 1704
Dateinfo: Dates Certain
Lifespan: 76
2. Father
Occupation: Merchant, Aristocrat
Gerrit Hudde, a merchant and patrician.
Considering Hudde's career, the father must have been affluent at the very least, and Hudde must have inherited an adequate estate.
3. Nationality
Birth: Dutch
Career: Dutch
Death: Dutch
4. Education
Schooling: Leiden
He studied law in Leiden about 1648. Here he met mathe- matics through Schooten. There is no mention of a degree.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Calvinist by assumption
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Mathematics
Subordinate: Optics
His contribution to mathematics came entirely during the years 1654-63. There is no evidence that he did any further work in mathematics after 1663.
He was also interested in optics. He produced microscopes with spherical lenses and worked with Spinoza on the construction of telescopic lenses. His correspondence with Spinoza indicates that he composed a Dioptrica.
7. Means of Support
Primary: Personal Means, Magistrate
After 1663 Hudde devoted himself to the service of Amsterdam as a member of the city council, a juror, and chancellor. He was chosen one of four Burgomaters in 1672, and held the office as often as the law allowed (two years out of three) until his death. He was also Chancellor and deputy of the admiralty.
Hudde was influential enough to determine academic appointments in Leiden and Amsterdam.
8. Patronage
Type: None
9. Technological Involvement
Types: Instruments, Applied Mathematics
See above.
He worked on the calculation of the value of annuities, and he composed an essay on the calculation of the burden of a ship.
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
  1. Nieuw Nederlandsch Biographisch Woordenboek.
  2. Karlheinz Haas, "Die mathematischen Arbeiten von Johann Hudde (1628-1704) Bürgermeister von Amsterdam," Centaurus, 4 (1956), 235-84.
Compiled by:
Richard S. Westfall
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Indiana University

Note: the creators of the Galileo Project and this catalogue cannot answer email on geneological questions.

©1995 Al Van Helden
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