Hopkins, William, 1793–1866, English geologist. Hopkins studied mathematics at Cambridge, and then supported himself as a private mathematics tutor. Many of England's best mathematicians and mathematical physicists of the time were his students. In his early forties he became interested in geology. He proposed mathematical models of shifts of the earth's crust, of the nature of the earth's interior, of the transport of erratic boulders, and of the causes of climatic change. Modern geologists have discarded Hopkins's original conclusions, but his application of mathematics remains a valuable contribution to geological methods.