James Cook Mathematical Notes

This website provides online access to the complete James Cook Mathematical Notes, from Issue 1 in 1975 to the final Issue 70 in 1996. See below for background information on publication of JCMN.

1975: Issue 1

1976: Issue 2 Issue 3 Issue 4 Issue 5 Issue 6

1977: Issue 7 Issue 8 Issue 9 Issue 10 Issue 11 Issue 12 Issue 13

1978: Issue 14 Issue 15 Issue 16 Issue 17

1979: Issue 18 Issue 19 Issue 20

1980: Issue 21 Issue 22 Issue 23 Issue 24

1981: Issue 25 Issue 26 Issue 27

1982: Issue 28 Issue 29 Issue 30

1983: Issue 31 Issue 32

1984: Issue 33 Issue 34 Issue 35

1985: Issue 36 Issue 37 Issue 38

1986: Issue 39 Issue 40 Issue 41

1987: Issue 42 Issue 43 Issue 44

1988: Issue 45 Issue 46 Issue 47

1989: Issue 48 Issue 49 Issue 50

1990: Issue 51 Issue 52 Issue 53

1991: Issue 54 Issue 55 Issue 56

1992: Issue 57 Issue 58 Issue 59

1993: Issue 60 Issue 61 Issue 62

1994: Issue 63 Issue 64 Issue 65

1995: Issue 66 Issue 67

1996: Issue 68 Issue 69 Issue 70

Partial index (Issues 25-31 only)

Obituary of Basil Rennie, by George Szekeres, reproduced with the author's kind permission.

Background to publication of JCMN

The James Cook Mathematical Notes were started by Basil Rennie in 1975, when he was Head of the Department of Mathematics at the James Cook University of North Queensland, in Townsville, Australia. He was the editor and publisher, as well as the author of a great many of the articles. After his retirement in 1985, he and his wife Barbara moved back to Adelaide, South Australia, where, with Barbara's help, he continued to produce the journal until his death in 1996. The journal then ceased publication.

The JCMN is mainly concerned with mathematical problems, and their solution. The journal was fed by a wide network of correspondents throughout the world. Easily the most famous was Paul Erdös, who came to Townsville to see Basil on many occasions. Problems are posed, and then usually, but not always, solved by correspondents in later issues, often in several different ways. Some of these problems turn out to be old chesnuts, but most are new. There are articles on the mathematics of navigation. There are also some historical notes, usually having some connection to James Cook, the man. And then there is the occasional off-beat quotation.

Many of the articles in JCMN have no author's name attached. These were all written by Basil Rennie. But he also had a hand in many of the articles with other names attached! Sometimes, he would turn a correspondent's letter into an article, and attach their name. This process often entailed making non-trivial mathematical contributions to it!

A couple of the issues were edited by other staff members at James Cook University, when Basil Rennie was on leave. While on the staff at James Cook University from 1977 to 1984, I edited one of the issues.


This website has been set up with the encouragement and permission of Barbara Rennie and the Rennie family. I thank Edinburgh University Mathematics and Statistics Department for being willing to support the setting up and hosting of this site. In particular, I thank Steve Law for technical assistance, and Emma Farrell for scanning JCMN into electronic form. Please address any correspondence about JCMN to me.

Chris Smyth

Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Edinburgh University, UK.

Email: chris@maths.ed.ac.uk

James Cook websites:

This is only a sample of the many out there! These sites have links to many others.

--> James Cook

--> Biography of Captain James Cook

--> Captain James Cook

--> List of Links for James Cook

Other relevant sites:

--> Edinburgh University Mathematics and Statistics Department

--> James Cook University of North Queensland
--> London Mathematical Society

last updated 26 July 2000 (CJS)

Chris Smyth /Edinburgh University/ chris@maths.ed.ac.uk