Every year, thousands of students around the world encounter Ferrers graphs. Most of these students probably assume that Ferrers was a mathematician and that his name is among the hundreds at a well-known website specialising in mathematical biography. The first assumption is correct.
Norman Macleod Ferrers was born 11 August 1829 in Gloucester. In 1851, he received a BA degree from Cambridge University, with honours. He was Senior Wrangler and winner of first prize in the Smith mathematics competition. He studied law and was called to the bar in 1855, but returned to Caius College in 1856 as a mathematical lecturer, and was ordained apriest in 1861.
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