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The Princeton Companion to Mathematics by Imre Leader, June Barrow-Green, Timothy Gowers

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VI.14 Isaac Newton

b. Woolsthorpe, England, 1642; d. London, 1727

Calculus; algebra; geometry; mechanics; optics; mathematical astronomy

Newton entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1661, and it was in Cambridge that he spent most of his formative years, first as a student, then as a Fellow, and then, from 1669, as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics. His election to the Lucasian Chair was engineered by his mentor Isaac Barrow, a talented mathematician and theologian who was the first to hold the prestigious chair. In 1696 Newton moved to London to take up the post of Warden of the Mint. He resigned his professorship in 1702.

It appears that Newton’s interest in mathematics began in 1664. In that year he embarked on a course of self-instruction, ...

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