Van Roomen was born in
Leuven, the son of Adriaan Van Roomen and Maria Van Den Daele. He was educated partly in Leuven and partly After studying at the Jesuit College in
Cologne, also attending the
University of Cologne where he began his study of medicine. He also briefly studied medicine at
Leuven University. Roomen was professor of mathematics and medicine at Louvain from 1586 to 1592. He met
Kepler, and discussed with
François Viète two questions about equations and tangencies. He then spent some time in
Italy, particularly with
Rome in 1585. His publication of 1595, Parvum theatrum urbium, contained Latin verse on the cities of Italy (possibly written by
In June 1593 Van Roomen became the inaugural professor of medicine at the newly refounded
University of Würzburg. He was also appointed physician in ordinary to the court of
Rudolf II. From around 1595 to 1603 he produced calendars, almanacs and prognostications published under the patronage of
prince-bishop of Würzburg. At the same time, he served as mathematician of the king of Poland and become famous for the computation of the value of
Pi to sixteen decimals, surpassing
François Viète who had arrived at ten digits. After being widowed he was ordained to the
priesthood in 1604 and on 8 October 1608 was installed as a canon of the
collegiate church of St John the Evangelist in Würzburg.
His Mathesis Polemica, published in Frankfurt in 1605, explained the military applications of mathematics. In June 1610 he was in Prague, after which he travelled to
Poland at the invitation of
Jan Zamoyski to give public lectures on mathematics at
Red Ruthenia. He made the return journey via Hungary, arriving back in Würzburg at the end of 1611.
Struggling with health problems, Van Roomen undertook a journey to
Spa to take the waters but died en route at
Mainz in the arms of his son, who was travelling with him.