Douglas Rayner Hartree PhD, FRA (27 March 1897 – 12 February 1958) was an English mathematician and physicist most famous for the development of numerical analysis and its application to the Hartree-Fock equations of atomic physics and the construction of a differential analyser using Meccano.
Born in Cambridge, England. His father, William, was a lecturer in engineering at Cambridge University and his mother, Eva Rayner, was president of the National Council of Women and mayor of the city of Cambridge.
He attended St John’s College, Cambridge but the first world war interrupted his studies. He joined a group working on anti-aircraft ballistics under A.V.Hill. At the end of World War I, Hartree returned to Cambridge graduating in 1922 with a degree in Natural Sciences.