Biography of Sir Thomas Muir
The Thomas Muir Chair of Mathematics was founded in 1966 and named for Sir Thomas Muir (1844-1934).
Born in Biggar, Muir attended the University and graduated MA in 1870. Despite his love of Greek he chose to pursue a career in Mathematics, becoming a tutor at the University of St Andrews and then assistant to Hugh Blackburn, Professor of Mathematics at the University, 1871-1874. He left to become head of Mathematics and Science at the High School of Glasgow and established his reputation as an expert on the theory of determinants. The University awarded him an honorary LLD in 1884.
In 1892 Muir moved to South Africa as Superintendent General of Education in Cape Colony. He served as Vice-Chancellor to the University of the Cape, 1897-1901 and was knighted in 1915 for his services to science.