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Yesterday was William Burnside's Birthday!

William Burnside
July 2, 1852 in Paddington, London
Died: August 21, 1927 in West Wickham, England

Burnside's Problem gave rise to an enormous body of publications concerning the finiteness of finitely generated groups of bounded exponents.

Burnside published the first English language book on the subject of groups.  His less-than-prophetic quote from the preface of The Theory of Groups of Finite Order (1897) has become famous:

". . . it would be difficult to find a result [in pure group theory] that could be most directly obtained by the consideration of groups of linear transformations." 

No matter what his initial concerns, he had opened a new field.  Over the next 15 - 20 years Burnside and others thrived on his investigations.  He published 70 mathematical papers while serving as professor of mathematics at the Royal Naval College at Greenwich, an institution dedicated to the training of naval officers, not mathematicians.
bshm Bulletin, Spring 2005 (4) p. 45-49.