The importance of mathematics to the intellectual life at Balliol from the earliest days is witnessed by the fact that the College Library holds one of the earliest known Latin translations of Euclid's Elements, and that its earliest benefaction, in 1276, before it had even received its statutes, was a manuscript of Boethius' De Musica, then considered part of mathematics. Although the College was founded in 1263, systematic records of the students are available only from the late sixteenth century. However, it is known that some of the most prominent English mathematicians of the middle ages studied at Balliol. Until recently the numbers studying Mathematics at the College were relatively small, but they nonetheless included some distinguished names from each period. Balliol is not one of the colleges to which any of the older mathematics chairs is attached, and so did not simply gain association with these mathematicians by adoption: with the exception of Gregory and Nicholson (and possibly Swyneshed and Recorde) all the mathematicians whose biographies are listed below were students at the College.
For brief biographies of the mathematicians listed below follow the appropriate link. The lengths of these biographical notes bear little direct relationship to the importance of those described. In addition to the hyperlinks, more information about these and other Oxford mathematicians can be found in Oxford Figures, edited by J. Fauvel, R. Flood and R.J. Wilson, OUP 1999.