John Napier was born in Merchiston Edinburgh, in 1550. He was known as "Marvelous Merchiston" for his genius and imagination. When he was just 13 years old when he attended St. Salvador's College, University of St. Andrews. Although he attended the school he left it without graduating. Not much is know about Napier's life outside of mathematics. It is know however that he married his first wife Elizabeth who bore him one son, but she died in less than a year's time. His second wife, Agnes Chisholm, bore him 5 sons and 5 daughters.
It is easy to say that Napier made one of the greatest advances in mathematical history. His work on logarithms has definitely aided others in their discoveries. Without logarithms people like Kepler and Newton could have made their planetary discoveries much later on in time if not at all. His work, Mirifici Logarithmorum Canonis Description, had thirty-seven pages of explanations and ninety pages of math tables, which helped to further understand astronomy.
Among his other inventions were rods, or bones, which were used in multiplication. In an appendix, Napier also gave another explanation of multiplication using metal plates. This work was the earliest known attempt at a mechanical means of calculation, making him the grandfather of our modern day calculator. He also was a great supporter of the decimal fraction system. It appears as though he was the one who introduced this system into common usage, therefore eliminating all use of a notation to show a fractional position.
Napier made some great discoveries, and is considered to be a great scientist like Einstein. Thanks to him though we have easier methods of doing complicated things!