Peter Redford Scott Lang


Born: 8 October 1850 in Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: 5 July 1926 in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland


Scott Lang's father was Robert Laidlow Lang (born in Selkirk about 1808) who was an advocates' clerk. His mother was Barbara Turnbull Cochrane (born in England about 1818). Peter Scott Lang was the youngest of his parents' six children.

Scott Lang was educated at the Edinburgh Institution, then at the University of Edinburgh. He trained as a Life Assurance Clerk while undergoing higher education. In the 1871 census, when he was 20 years old, his occupation was given as Life Assurance Clerk. He graduated M.A. and B.Sc. in 1872 and in the same year was appointed as an assistant in Natural Philosophy at Edinburgh University.

Scott Lang married Alice M Dickson (born in Colinton, Midlothian about 1859) and they had a daughter Edith Mary Lang.

In 1879 he was appointed to the Regius chair of mathematics at the University of St Andrews. He held this chair until he retired in 1921. He was knighted in the year he retired:-

... in recognition of his educational, military, and public services, and in 1922 the University of St Andrews conferred upon him the degree of LL.D.
Scott Lang was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 7 January 1878. He was proposed for the fellowship by Sir Robert Christison, David Stevenson, John Hutton Balfour, and Peter Guthrie Tait. His obituary, written by H W Turnbull, appeared in Proc. Roy. Soc. Edinburgh 46 (1925-26), 370-371.
We give a version at THIS LINK.

His obituary also appeared in The Scotsman on Wednesday, 7th July 1926.
We give a version at THIS LINK

Article by: J J O'Connor and E F Robertson

November 2007
MacTutor History of Mathematics
[http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Scott_Lang.html]