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John Venn

Born: 4-Aug-1834
Birthplace: Kingston upon Hull, England
Died: 4-Apr-1923
Location of death: Cambridge, England
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Trumpington Parish Cemetery, Trumpington, Cambridgeshire, England

Gender: Male
Religion: Anglican/Episcopalian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Mathematician, Historian

Nationality: England
Executive summary: Venn diagrams

Mathematician and historian John Venn attended Cambridge, then became an Anglican priest, serving first at the church in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, and later in Mortlake, Surrey. In 1862 he began teaching at Cambridge, where he did his best-known work, developing and popularizing what are now called Venn diagrams, a technique which uses overlapping circles to diagram the differences and commonality of sets (classes of things or ideas).

With his son he wrote a two-volume history of Cambridge, and complied an extensive database of biographical information on some 136,000 Cambridge graduates and staff, from "the earliest times" to the dawn of the 20th century. He also devised a theory of induction, studied probability theory and the philosophy of science, and invented a machine that bowled balls for cricket practice.

Father: Henry Venn (Anglican priest, d. 10-Feb-1796, d. 13-Jan-1873)
Mother: Martha Sykes (m. 21-Jan-1829, d. 1837)
Sister: Henrietta
Sister: Susan (Susie)
Wife: Susanna Carnegie Edmonstone (m. 1867)
Son: John Archibald Venn (administrator or Cambridge, b. 1883, d. 1958)

    High School: Sir Roger Cholmeley's School at Highgate, London, England (1851)
    High School: Islington Preparatory School, Islington, England (1853)
    University: BS (equiv.) Mathematics, Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge University (1857)
    Fellow: Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge University (1858-1923)
    Lecturer: Moral Sciences, Cambridge University (1862-83)
    Professor: Moral Sciences, Cambridge University (1883-1923)
    Administrator: President, Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge University (1903-23)

    Ordained by the Anglican Church (1859)
    Royal Society (1883)
    English Ancestry

Author of books:
The Logic of Chance (1866, mathematics)
Symbolic Logic (1881, mathematics)
The Register of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials in St. Michael's Parish, Cambridge, 1538 to 1837 (1891, history)
The Principles of Empirical Logic (a/k/a The principles of Inductive Logic) (1889, mathematics)
Annals of A Clerical Family (1904, genealogy)
The Biographical History of Gonville and Caius College, 1349 to 1897 (1897, history)
Caius College (1901, history)
The Annals of Gonville and Caius College (1904, history)
Grace Book [Delta]: Containing the Records of the University of Cambridge for the Years 1542-1589 (1910, history)
Early Collegiate Life (1913, non-fiction)
The Book of Matriculations and Degrees: Cambridge from 1544 to 1659 (1913, history; with John A. Venn)
Alumni Cantabrigienses: A Biographical List of All Known Students, Graduates and Holders of Office at the University of Cambridge, from the Earliest Times to 1900 (1922, history; with John A. Venn)


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